Лучше синица в руках, чем журавль в небе (lúchshe sinítsa v rukákh, chem zhurávl’ v nébe).
Literally: a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky.
- a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush;
- better a dove on the plate than a woodgrouse in the mating place;
- better an egg today than a hen tomorrow;
- one today is worth two tomorrow;
- better one small fish than an empty dish;
- a living dog is better than a dead lion;
- an ounce of (good) fortune is worth a pound of forecast;
- a pound in the purse is worth two in the book;
- half a loaf is better than no bread;
- never quit certainty for hope.
P.S. Ivan Tsarevich (Иван-Царевич) & Zhar-Ptitsa (Жар-птица, literally: Heatbird, i.e. Firebird) are Russian folklore creatures – a hero and a magic bird. Thus, of course a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky but having a Firebird’s feather beats all…