In and around the area of Churchdown, Gloucestershire, there was a practised belief that it wouldn't be possible to pass away into the next world if the mattress or pillow on the bed was stuffed with pigeon feathers. If there was any indications that someone was going to die imminently and there were suspicions that their bed contain these feathers, the dying person would be taken and laid out on the floor to die.
Still on the theme of pigeons and death, in Bourton-on-the-Water, people believed that if you were to put a live pigeon under the bed of a dying person, this would prolong the life of the dying person.
Now to another flying creature, bees!
It was common practise in rural parts, to tell the bees when their keeper had died. In the village of Aldsworth, the new keeper was required to stand before the hive and say, repeatedly, 'Bees be said your master is dead and you must work for me.' In Great Rissington, the new beekeeper had to knock on the beehive 3 times and say 'Your master is dead'. In the St Briavels, in the Forest of Dean, it was the custom to pick up a bee hive if a funeral procession passed by!