- "Not all the birds are to be trusted."
- ― Aragorn in The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
The Fellowship of the Ring encountered various flocks of crebain on their arrival in Hollin. Fearing that they were used as spies by Saruman, the Fellowship spent the entire day in hiding, without a campfire.
The plural form was known from the Lord of the Rings while the singular form was published in 2007; even before the publication of this singular, craban was the generally assumed form by students of Sindarin, although the forms croban or creban were possible as well.
Portrayal in adaptations
- A flock of Crebain "from Dunland" appears when the Fellowship is in Hollin. Though Gimli at first dismisses it as a cloud, Boromir notices them going too fast, and against the wind. The Fellowship hide as the birds swoop by. The crebain are revealed to have indeed been spies when they report to Saruman at Isengard later.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 37
- David Salo, "Etymology of crebain (50.32)" dated 1 May 2001, Elfling (accessed 23 September 2022)
- Raven at the Online Etymology Dictionary
- Jim Allan (1978), An Introduction to Elvish, page 75
- Ruth S. Noel, The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth, page 128
- Robert Ireland, "The Lord of the Rings: A-C", A Tolkien Dictionary
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Fighting Uruk-hai"