In Greek mythology
, the Stymphalian Birds
lived by Lake Stymphalus in Arcadia
. They had migrated there to escape a herd of wolves
. They bred quickly and took over the countryside. They had sharp metallic feathers that they shot at people, and they destroyed local crops and fruit trees. Some sources claim these were the same birds that attacked the Argonauts
The forest around Lake Stymphalus was very dense and too dark to see much. Athena and Hephaestus helped Heracles kill the birds as one of his Twelve Labors. Hephaestus made huge bronze clappers to drive the birds into flight, and Heracles shot them with his arrows or a catapault. The birds that survived never returned to Greece.