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Stymphalian Birds  (stim-FAY-lee-un)

Flying creatures with lethal, metallic feathers who infested the Stymphalian marsh in Arcadia. When Heracles had to confront these man-eaters as one of his Labors, he was aided by Athena. The goddess gave him a pair of castanets. With these noisemakers, he caused the birds to take wing. Then he brought them down by the dozens with arrows from his bow.
The ancient geographer Strabo believed that the Stymphalian marsh drained into an underground river that emerged miles away on the far side of mountains at this spring near Kefalari in Argos. (zoom)