The swallow is a migratory bird quite familiar to residents of the Holy Land. Frequently on the move to warmer climates, swallows gather in huge flocks to travel thousands of miles. A chattering flock can make quite a racket (Is. 38:14). The psalmist makes an interesting distinction between the sparrow, who finds a home, and the swallow, who gets a nest (Ps. 84:3). Only a permanent resident needs a home. Some translations render the Hebrew word for swallow as thrush (Jer. 8:7), (NIV, NASB) or wryneck (Jer. 8:7), (NEB).
Swans are seen occasionally in Palestine. As vegetarians, they are related to ducks and geese. Alternate translations of the Hebrew term for swan include ibis, stork, white owl, and water hen. These are better translations, since there seems to be no reason why swans would have been considered unclean (Lev. 11:18), (KJV).
The swift is a small migratory bird often confused with the swallow. Although they are similar, the two birds come from different families. Swifts are strong fliers that can travel short distances at over 100 m. p. h. They spend much of their time feeding on airborne insects.
The association or idea of a pig is an animal which really has no discernment nor desire to live cleanly, rather it highly prefers to live in the filth, and “bathe” itself in this filth. It eats and sleeps and lives happily in its own urine and excrement. The Bible associates this with great uncleanness and displeasure in God’s eyes.
Tawny Owl (see Owl).
Tortoise (see Turtle).
Tortoise is another name for a turtledove.
Both turtles and tortoises (a type often found in Palestine) and their eggs and meat were eaten. In (Numbers 6:10) and (Jeremiah 8:7) (KJV), turtle is simply an abbreviation of turtledove. The context clearly indicates that a bird is meant, not the silent, slow-moving turtle.
Katydid (see Grasshopper).
The idea of grasshoppers are that they devour farmers fields and crops, making them a threat to their existence. They are hated by farmers, especially as they have the possibility of multiplying and attacking in great swarms that do great destruct to farmers crops, as well as their fodder for their animals.
Fox. Foxes were common predators in Bible times. Since they fed on small rodents like rats and mice, they helped to protect the grain crops. But their fondness for grapes caused farmers much grief. Sometimes they even tunneled under protective walls to feast on grapevines (Song 2:15). Foxes also settle in holes and burrows, often those abandoned by other animals. Jesus pointed out that foxes have holes, but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head (Matt. 8:20).
Foxes have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing. They are also clever enough to lie in wait for prey. They may even play dead to attract a bird within striking range. When hunted, they are cunning and devious, misleading their pursuers. Jesus compared Herod, the Roman tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, to a fox, because of his crafty, devious nature (Luke 13:32).