Stymphalian Birds (third feat)

Eurystheus instructed Hercules kill the Stymphalian birds. These birds almost turned all the surroundings of the Arcadian city of Stimphala into a desert. They attacked both animals and people and tore them apart with their copper claws and beaks. But the most terrible thing was that the feathers of these birds were made of solid bronze, and the birds, taking off, could drop them, like arrows, on anyone who wanted to attack them. It was difficult for Hercules to fulfill this assignment of Eurystheus. The warrior Athena-Pallas came to his aid. She gave Hercules two brass tympanums, they were forged by god Hephaestus, and ordered Hercules to stand on a high hill near the forest where the Stymphalian birds nested, and hit the tympanums; when the birds take off, shoot them with a bow. So did Hercules. Having ascended the hill, he struck the tympanums, and such a deafening ringing arose that the birds flew up over the forest in a huge flock and began to circle over it in horror. They rained their feathers, sharp as arrows, on the ground, but the feathers did not hit Hercules standing on the hill. The hero grabbed his bow and began to strike the birds with deadly arrows. In fear, the Stymphalian birds flew up behind the clouds and disappeared from the eyes of Hercules. The birds flew far beyond Greece, to the shores Euxine Pontus, and never returned to the vicinity of Stymphalus. So Hercules fulfilled this commission of Eurystheus and returned to Tiryns, but immediately he had to go to an even more difficult feat.