The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Known to have been found on the island of Númenor


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  • Updated 23 October 2014
  • This entry is complete


Tiny scarlet birds found in Númenor

One of the many species of birds found in Númenor, and doubtless Aman, that were not known in Middle-earth. The kirinki were said to be smaller than wrens, with bright scarlet feathers, and voices so high that they could hardly be heard by Men.



Kir- in this context is unclear; the word itself means 'cut', 'cleave', but those ideas hardly seem to fit the tiny kirinki, at least in a literal sense. Perhaps the word is being used here in the sense of 'piercing', in a metaphorical allusion to their high-pitched calls. The second element -rinki is probably derived from an old word meaning 'twitch, move quickly', which does indeed seem to match the typical behaviour of small wren-like birds (though it may also be connected from inkë, 'little').

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