Cover Photo: closeup photograph of a bird with red, white, and brown markings sitting on a ledge, with strands of hair in its beak
Photograph by Aiko Van Hulsen/Flickr

Can a Bird and Its Nest Really Bring Bad Luck?

Some think good luck or bad luck is with us from birth—though our luck might change if a winged creature steals a strand of our hair.

This is A Modern Guide to Superstition, a column by Dorothy Bendel on folk belief and ritual in chaotic times.

Edward Scissorhands


Dorothy Bendel's writing has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Believer, Literary Hub, Catapult, The New York Times, and additional publications. Find her at or @DorothyBendel.