The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998


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Quotations about Birds

Related Quotes      Animals      Flying      Nature      Insects

And from Humming-Bird to Eagle, the daily existence of every bird is a remote and bewitching mystery. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "The Life of Birds," Out-door Papers, 1868

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

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

Some birds are poets and sing all summer. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1852 July 5th

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

Happy who for a season may
      Absent themselves on buoyant wing!
      The birds that Winter drives away
      Will surely come again with Spring.
They of our ills will mindful be,
      And when at length the storm has passed,
      They will return to this same tree
      Which has so often felt the blast.
      Then to our fertile vale will they
      A more auspicious presage bring!
      The birds that Winter drives away
      Will surely come again with Spring.
~Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780–1857), "The Birds," translated from the French by Percy Reeve, in Love & Music, 1883

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 (1879–1962)

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

Not everything is black or white
Some things are lonely grey
Like windows looking out on rain at dusk
Or the bitter pain in winter skies
when all the birds are gone...
~H. Joanne Hardee, from "Some Things Are Grey," in Our Western World's Most Beautiful Poems, edited and published by John Campbell, World of Poetry Press, 1985

Dawn-giddy birds chirp as if every morning is a special occasion. Wise, wise birds. ~Terri Guillemets

Grass commence a-comin'
Thoo de thawin' groun',
Evah bird dat whistles
Keepin' noise erroun';
Cain't sleep in de mo'nin',
Case befo' it 's light
Bluebird an' de robin,
Done begun to fight.
~Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906), "Spring Fever"

"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

The clouds are my family.
When you cannot find me,
it is because my sisters
and brothers have called me.
We are singing circles of prayers
about the earth...
~James McGrath (b.1928), "Bird," written in the 1970s, published in Dreaming Invisible Voices, 2009  [My favorite poem in the entire book is "Cicada" — but you'll have to read it yourself. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The bluejays are by far the fanciest fliers in the woods of Waldeck, working both wings anywhichway like an agile swimmer. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2007 December 13th

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)

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

Road Runner, I am curious,
      You've got me wondering why
      You're always in a foot race,
      I've never seen you fly.
You run along the yucca ridge,
      And across the desert floor,
      You run and keep on running,
      And then you run some more...
~Harry Golden, "The Road Runner and I," in Arizona Highways, September 1971

My music breathes of art; — hers is the warble
Borne up to heaven, in the morning's blue calms.
~Florence Percy (Elizabeth Anne Chase Akers Allen, 1832–1911), "Two," Forest Buds, from the Woods of Maine, 1855

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 blackbird and the thrush, indeed, sing the passion and beauty of their love long after the sunset has gilded the evening sky until the lacy trees stand motionless against the pale green spaces of Heaven, and a honey-coloured moon floats from the Eastern horizon. Then at last there is a hush, till the moonlight wakes the nightingales, and their music, unearthly and strangely sweet, troubles the night with beauty. ~Dallas Kenmare Browne Kelsey (c.1905–1970), "The Music of Nature," 1931

Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing "Sweet Spring is near."
~Louisa May Alcott, "To The First Robin," 1840

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,

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
~William Wordsworth

Autumn birds speak cheerful poetry from their berry-stained beaks. ~Terri Guillemets

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"

People who say that an anorexic "eats like a bird" have clearly had no experience with bluejays. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2008 February 16th

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)

Birds chirping in the trees:  the happy sound of freedom. ~Terri Guillemets, "Cageless," 1994

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

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Last modified 2019 Jun 15 Sat 09:21 PDT

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