Bird In The Hand?

A while back, I was in the local museum of art looking at several paintings of Mary with Jesus as a child/baby. Many of the paintings also showed a small bird (not a dove) perched either on Mary or Jesus. I can’t remember exactly where. Does anyone know the reason (tradition?) for the depiction of the bird? Thanks!

this is strictly a guess, but there is a small-T tradition, possibly from the protoevangelium of James, possibly from another apocryphal source, that the child Jesus once brought a dead sparrow back to life.

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