Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes
Page: 54When the woman saw the Ancient of Red-headed Buzzards, she called to him, “Help me to get down and I will give you one of the children.” He assisted her, but she did not give him the child.
The waters were so deep that the birds were clinging by their claws to the clouds, but their tails were under water. That is why their tails are always sharp. One of these birds was the Ancient of Yellowhammers. Therefore its tailfeathers are sharp at the ends. The large Red-headed Woodpecker was there, too, and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and that is why their tails have their present shape.