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Quotations about Birds
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. ~Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712
When nature made the blue-bird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast. ~John Burroughs
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~Henry David Thoreau
Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. ~Izaak Walton
Have you ever observed a humming-bird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers - a living prismatic gem.... it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description. ~W.H. Hudson, Green Mansions
The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing. ~Eric Berne
God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. ~J.G. Holland
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Seagulls... slim yachts of the element. ~Robinson Jeffers
Half the modern drugs could well be thrown out the window, except that the birds might eat them. ~Martin H. Fischer
God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. ~Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien
Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~Author unknown, quoted in The Ladies Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted to Literature, Arts, and Religion, September 1874, commonly misattributed to Henry Van Dyke and Henry David Thoreau
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Eagle"
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. ~Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays
"Hear! hear!" screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, "winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it." ~Henry David Thoreau, 28 November 1858 journal entry
I heard the sweet voice of a robin,
High up in the maple tree,
Joyously, singing his happy song
To his feathered mate, in glee!...
If we could be like this tiny bird,
Just living from day to day,
Holding no bitterness in our hearts
For those we meet on our way...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Heaven on Earth" (1940s)
We like to praise birds for flying. But how much of it is actually flying, and how much of it is just sort of coasting from the previous flap? ~Jack Handey, Deeper Thoughts: All New, All Crispy
A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
~Dixon Lanier Merritt
The crow in his purity I believe is seen and heard only in the North. Before you reach the Potomac there is an infusion of a weaker element, the fish-crow, whose helpless feminine call contrasts strongly with the hearty masculine caw of the original Simon. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"
Hark, love, while through this wood we walk,
Beneath melodious trees,
How wrens with redbreasts ever talk
What tuneful words they please...
No graybeard linguist, love, could vie
With our large learning, then!
You'd speak to me in Redbreast; I
Would answer you in Wren!
~Edgar Fawcett, "Bird-Language," Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891
A flock of geese leave their lake and take wing, turning to poems in the sky. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com
Happier of happy though I be, like them
I cannot take possession of the sky,
Mount with a thoughtless impulse and wheel there
One of a mighty multitude, whose way
And motion is a harmony and dance
But there in your stony and windswept garden
a blackbird is confirming the grip of the land.
You, you, he murmurs, dark purple in his voice.
~Anne Stevenson, "North Sea Off Carnoustie"
Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car. ~Author Unknown
[T]hese flowers, so fragrant, grew
And the birds and bees sipped sweet nectar
From the sparkling, morning dew.
God has blessed all beauties of Nature;
He's set His approval and seal
On all of His small, winged messengers
That fly through the air with such zeal.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Honeysuckle" (1940s)
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away. ~Henry Ward Beecher
The little owls call to each other with tremulous, quavering voices throughout the livelong night, as they sit in the creaking trees. ~Theodore Roosevelt
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~Rose F. Kennedy
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~Chinese Proverb
Last modified 2015 Sep 03 Thu 19:18 PDT