Animals in OUAT Pt 1 – Birds in OUAT

Even though much of the story centers around humans and the choices they make in Once Upon a Time, animals play interesting roles, also. This time we will look at the role of birds in OUAT.

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Animals in OUAT Part 1

Birds in OUAT


Snow and her connection with birds

Early in the Pilot we see Snow and Mary Margaret hold bluebirds in their hands. It seemed that the birds were very comfortable with Snow/Mary Margaret, almost drawn to them. Many times in Classic Fairy Tale stories, characters had a connection to animals in general (Animals even helped them with tasks; delivering a message, cleaning up a dirty house, completing a dress, etc). Even though a character like Snow White had no magical power, her kindness led to this connection to birds. However, evil also gives some characters connections to birds (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Evil Queen, Maleficent, etc.).

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Except, when she went dark in “Heart of Darkness (1X16)”, ya know? 😉


In the 7:15AM (1X10) episode, birds were part of the core storyline in Storybrooke.

Dr. Thatcher: Well, this is a north Atlantic dove. It’s a migratory species. Very unique among American doves. They tend to form strong, monogamous bonds, meaning-

MMB: If I don’t get her back to her flock, she’ll be alone forever.

Dr. Thatcher: Well, it’s a long shot, but the alternative…

(He puts the dove into a cage.)

Dr. Thatcher: She’ll heal, but she won’t be happy here.

MMB: I’ll take my chances. Thank you, Doctor.

Dr. Thatcher: You’re welcome. Good luck.

(Dr. Thatcher leaves. Mary Margaret takes the dove’s cage and goes to leave.)

David: Mary Margaret, there’s a storm coming. You really shouldn’t go out there.

MMB: Well, the storm’s coming tomorrow. If I wait, she could be lost forever. Completely alone. No one deserves that.

In the Fairy Tale Land storyline, we are introduced to the concept of doves delivering written messages between Charming and Snow.


We also see this again in the episode, “Broken” (2X1) when August sent Neal/Baelfire a postcard when that the curse had been broken.



In the “Into the Deep” (2X8) episode, Cora sends a message via a Raven to Snow concerning the ultimatum about returning the compass.



In the episode “Shattered Sight,” (4X11) Snow mentions that she talks to birds:

Snow: You know what, Swiss Miss? You do know me. I pick flowers. I talk to birds. [Whispers] I do all kinds of warm, fuzzy things. And you know what else? I kill. Yeah, that’s right. [Singsongy] Snow White’s a murderer. I killed the Evil Queen’s mommy. And I said I was sorry… [Singsongy] And it didn’t mean it.

Elsa: That’s horrible.

Snow: Still wanna hold hands, sing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”?

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More Birds delivering messages

Hook mentioned in “Witch Hunt” (3X13) that a bird brought his the un-forgetting potion AND directions of how to use it. That was some bird!

David: (turning to Hook) I don’t understand: If you left the Enchanted Forest before the curse, how did you know to find Emma and come to Storybrooke?
Hook: As I was sailing the realms a bird landed on my ship’s wheel with a note instructing me to retrieve Emma and bring her back here. There was a small vial of memory potion tied to its leg.
Mary Margret: Who send it?
Hook: I assumed you did.
David: A message via bird—that does sound like you.

Trivia Question: Do you remember who sent the memory potion (via the incredible strong bird) to Hook?

Click to reveal the answer

Bird confusion

Dove or Pigeon? During the “7:15AM” (1X10) episode, we see what is called a dove in the dialogue, but there was much discussion of whether it was a dove or a pigeon.


Trivia: In a rare occurrence, The Storybrooke Pet Hospital space in Steveston was used for Exterior and Interior filming

Storybrooke Pet Shelterrev

Storybrooke Pet Shelter Interior 1rev

Storybrooke Pet Shelter Interior 2rev

Crow or Raven? In an article posted here > it describes a cool sound addition giving Regina an audible “entrance” as a nod to the Disney films version of the Evil Queen.

“Another character who has her own theme is Regina, the evil queen in Fairy Tale land and the mayor in Storybrooke. Continuously surrounded by crows in fairy tale land, sound designers introduced the evil queen’s trademark pet more subtly in Storybrooke, editing in a crow ambience track whenever Regina is around. While faint to the audience, the crew of Once Upon A Time is very keen on the crow sound. “Every time we hear it on the stage,” Fleming jokes, “we like to say ‘you’ve been crowed.’””

This idea that the sound of crows relaying a message was taken one step further in a discussion on Once Podcast about the episode “Sympathy for the De Vil” (4X19) when Emma takes a step down the path to darkness. Note: Please click on the excerpt below to read more of the article.

Towards the end of the episode after Emma killed Cruella, crows were heard when Emma was shown. In Once Upon a Time, crows were typically used when Regina was in her Evil Queen mode. Was that a sign that Emma is changing?

The Queen clears it up for us. In a very cool deleted scene in the OUAT Season 4 Blu Ray when Rumpel interrogated Regina (in full Evil Queen regalia) about the disappearance of Belle, clears up that she uses Crows, not Ravens.

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Were there any other instances where birds were used in Once Upon a Time?

Do you listen to podcasts about Once Upon a Time? If not, please read our post entitled, The 5 Reasons YOU should listen to OUAT Podcasts.

Okay, One more – remember that tall, bald guy that worked for Mr. Gold in “Skin Deep” (1X12)?


This guy making a very bad day for Moe French.


Well, that member of Gold’s posse is – wait for it – The Dove. That’s his name.

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5 Reasons you Should Listen to OUAT podcasts.

Once Upon a Time is such a great show that I will give you 5 reasons you should listen to OUAT podcasts and extend the experience far beyond the TV show itself;


Don’t miss a thing with other viewpoints

1. You get a different viewpoint (or two). With the Once Upon a Time Fan Podcast, you get myself and Colleen’s views during our First Thoughts episode (recorded and released directly after the West Coast airing of a new OUAT episode, then the Main Show includes views from listeners in the form of vociemails, emails and Social Media messages. With all those different viewpoints, you will be sure to catch more of the episode than if you just watched in by yourself. Here is the information to subscribe to our podcast, for free that you will never miss an episode.

Subscribe Now via; Itunes | RSS | Stitcher

Note: If you don’t have an mp3 playing device, you should follow us on Twitter (@OUATpodcast) or Facebook ( to get links to the blog post where you can play on your computer.

You’ve got choices, and that’s a good thing

2. There are many great OUAT podcasts out there and each one covers the same show, but differently. Isn’t it great to know that you have many great podcast hosts and production team that work so hard to bring you great insight week after week about a show we all love so much? Daniel J. Lewis’ site has compiled this great list of all OUAT podcasts into one place – right here:


Note: There may been more out there, but this is the most up to date list I found.

Extras, too


3. Besides the podcasts themselves, the sites have many other surprises like blog posts separate from the posts including the podcast. For example, we wrote about the 5 Least Viewed OUAT episodes (Which actually shocked us. I believe it will you, too). Be sure to check them out, they add deeper insight the more you read posts about the different facets of Once Upon a Time in a more focused way.


4. Other podcast sites have active forums which many Oncers gather and discuss many different topics, like

Portable fandom

5. The greatest thing about OUAT podcasts is that they are portable. You can listen at the gym, at home, anywhere with your smartphone. We’ve heard stories about our listeners on planes (one is a pilot), on subways, buses, in cars on long commutes to work, sitting in the quad at school, etc. Wherever you go, subscribe to our podcast and take us with you.

Show some love

Please, please, please leave and rating and review for your favorite OUAT podcasts (You can have more than one. :) ) on iTunes. It encourages all of us to keep going.

Here is our itunes like if you want to give us a kind review:

If you’ve never listened to a OUAT podcast and took our advice, what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Reader Question – Should I Choose My Boyfriend or OUAT?

Reader-Questions1 (1)

From time to time we get emails and messages from blog readers that wish to rename anonymous and yet have questions that we feel should be opened up to answers from more than just Colleen and myself.

Reader Question – Should I Choose My Boyfriend or OUAT?

Hi. I love Once Upon a Time, but my boyfriend doesn’t. He hates Once and doesn’t understand why I spend time talking to other Oncers online, making my Cosplay costume and making plans to go to Comic Con.

I love my boyfriend so much, but I feel like I have to choose between Once and my boyfriend.

I don’t know what to do. Any advice?


It’s a tough issue for sure. If you were in her place, what would you do? Leave your comments below.

Purchase 'Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale' Here (Aff Link)
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Who will Save Emma from the Darkness?


Finding and saving others is a constant theme in Once Upon a Time, but who will save Emma from the Darkness? A number of possibilities exist;

Snow and Charming. With the revelation of how they tried to keep the Darkness away from Emma and send it to Lily caused the huge rift between Emma and her parents. However, the Charmings have made the steps to; reconnect with Emma, tell the truth to Emma and participate in reuniting Lily with Maleficent. Emma charged them with repeating their act of removing the Darkness from her again as Heroes. Completing their redemption arc by saving Emma would be a strong possibility.

Do you think Snow and Charming will save Emma?

Hook. This is another obvious choice. Love compels many to run into danger itself to rescue the ones they love. It is interesting to note the exchange the Hook had with Emma in Season 4 about his fear of being pulled back into darkness. Most of the characters (except with the possibility of Gold (and the effect of the Dark One Dagger perhaps) and Zelena) have made great strides out of darkness to the light, but if Hook does goes into that dark place to rescue Emma, will he be compromised himself?

Do you think Hook will save Emma?

Regina. To me, one of the most dramatic changes in character from Season 1 has got to be Regina. If you were to tell me that the cold, uncaring, revenge-fueled Evil Queen from Season 1 would come to make promises, keep those promises and put herself in harms way for (at that time) her mortal enemy, I would never have believed you, but she has. There are still parts of this “Hero” lifestyle that baffles Regina, at the end of Season 4 she told Emma that there had to be another way, besides Emma taking the Darkness on herself to saving everyone else and Regina’s road away from being a Villain, but sometimes the best choice is the hardest choice.

Do you think Regina will be the one to save Emma?

Henry. He has always been the youngest, most protected member of the characters, but has always yearned to be a hero and this may be his most important task. He has had a taste of what being a Hero entails; The risk, the danger and the reward. Will he rescue Emma by traversing portals to other times and realms or by somehow reclaiming his role as the Author and changing things with the power of the quill? With any good Hero story, the quest always includes danger, temptations and tests. Growth and maturity is never easy, and this may be the most difficult time for Henry ever.

Do you think Henry will save Emma?

As we know with a show like Once Upon a Time, there are many, many other options. Do you think Emma will be saved by others or other means? Will it be;

The entire team mentioned above working together?


Emma herself?

Some other possibility?

I’m very interesting to read your thoughts on this. Please leave your comments below and let’s discuss it together.

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OUAT S5 BTS Footage in Steveston 8/21/15

*Spoilers* For sure! Do not Click on the Plus sign unless you wish to be spoiled.

Click to reveal Spoiler Video

Note: This is not my footage.

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