67 Best Bird Poems in English Literature

Are you an avid bird enthusiast looking for the best bird poems in English literature?

You needn’t search any longer! Within this article, you shall discover 60+ beloved poems about birds written by the greatest bards in history.

From William Wordsworth’s iconic “The Owl” to John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale,” we’ll explore the most beloved bird poems and what makes them so special.

Whether you’re a bird lover or just a fan of great poetry, you’re sure to find something to appreciate in these classic works of art.

Please scroll down to see all the fantastic bird poems!

You May Also Be Interested In:

Inspirational Bird Poems

This collection of inspirational poems about birds celebrates the beauty and majesty of these amazing creatures. These poems will bring you closer to appreciating the wonders of nature.

1. Hope is the Thing with Feathers

       by Emily Dickinson

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

2. I am a Bird better than a Stupid Human

       by Param Arora

I am a bird, I am a bird..
Free, happy, peaceful and loving.
I am a bird better than a human,
I am a bird better than a stupid human.

I am a bird, as I have pleasure,
I have the strength to survive,
I have the strength to fight…
to accomplish and to be happy.

I am a bird, as I struggle and don’t struggle
I struggle for my existence,
I struggle for food
And I struggle for refuge.
But I don’t struggle for being heavenly!

I am a bird because I go through obstacles,
I can be eaten by the Cat,
I can be killed by the Nature,
By the rain or by lightning…

…My nest is broken by stupid human day by day,
My children don’t get chow every day.
But I am a bird, since I go through obstacles happily.

I am a bird better than stupid human,
I generate happiness from every sorrow
My struggle is my happiness…

I live every moment with joy
I fly in the open blue sky.
I take pleasure of the green earth…

…As I know I will be vanished in the blue
….and will never glimpse the green again…

I am a bird I am a bird- better than a stupid human.

3. Within My Garden Rides a Bird

       by Emily Dickinson

Within my Garden, rides a Bird
Upon a single Wheel –
Whose spokes a dizzy Music make
As ’twere a travelling Mill –

He never stops, but slackens
Above the Ripest Rose –
Partakes without alighting
And praises as he goes,

Till every spice is tasted –
And then his Fairy Gig
Reels in remoter atmospheres –
And I rejoin my Dog,

And He and I, perplex us,
If positive, ’twere we –
Or bore the Garden in the Brain
This Curiosity –

But He, the best Logician,
Refers my clumsy eye –
To just vibrating Blossoms!
An Exquisite Reply!

4. Ye Happy Little Birds

       by Mary C. Plummer

O ye happy little birds.
That circle through the air;
Would that I your life could lead –
Not a sorrow, not a care.

Happy every fleeting hour.
As you fly from bower to bower,
Chirping tones of mirth and glee.
Praising God who keepeth thee.

Someday happy little birds
You will fly so high.
Until you reach the heaven of heaven.
And, to me, you’ll sing good-bye.

5. If a Bird May Think

       by Annette Wynne

If a bird may think, its thoughts are not so small,
For it may think of skies or hills or anything at all.
So a child may think, thoughts big and free and wide—
It’s good for birds and children, thoughts need not fit inside.

6. Pigeons

       by James Henry’s

By what mistake were pigeons made so happy,
So plump and fat and sleek and well content,
So little with the affairs of others meddling,
So little meddled with? say, a collared dog,
And hard worked ox, and horse still harder worked,
And caged canary, why, uncribbed, unmaimed,
Unworked and of its will lord absolute,
The pigeon sole has free board and free quarters,
Till at its throat the knife, and pigeon pie
Must smoke ere noon upon the parson’s table;
Say, if ye can; I cannot, for the life o’ me;
But, whersoe’er I go, I find it so;
The pigeon of all things that walk or fly
Or swim or creep, the best cared-for and happiest;
Ornament ever fresh and ever fair
Of castle and of cottage, palace roof
And village street, alike, and stubble field,
And every eye and volute of the minster;
Philosopher’s and poet’s and my own
Envy and admiration, theme and riddle;
Emblem and hieroglyphic of the third
Integral unit of the Trinity;
Not even by pagan set to heavier task
Than draw the cart of Venus; since the deluge
Never once asked to carry in the bill,
And by the telegraph and penny-post
Released for ever from all charge of letters.

7. All the Things a Bird Is

       by Annette Wynne

All the things a bird is, swinging in a tree,
He’s the builder of a house as high as high can be,
He makes it cozy, safe, and strong,
A pleasant home the summer long.
He’s a traveler through the air,
He knows the streets to anywhere,
When autumn comes away he’ll fly
Along the south road of the sky.
He’s a singer in the sun,
Calling out to everyone,
To hear him tell from East to West
The heart that sings and loves is best.
He’s a teacher telling you
Be strong and busy, wise and true,
And learn to journey, build and sing,
And find the good in everything.

8. The Rainbird

       by Bliss Carman

I hear a rainbird singing
Far off. How fine and clear
His plaintive voice comes ringing
With rapture to the ear!
Over the misty wood-lots,
Across the first spring heat,
Comes the enchanted cadence,
So clear, so solemn-sweet.
How often I have hearkened;
To that high pealing strain
Across wild cedar barrens,
Under the soft gray rain!
How often I have wondered,
And longed in vain to know
The source of that enchantment,
That touch of human woe!
O brother, who first taught thee
To haunt the teeming spring
With that sad mortal wisdom
Which only age can bring?

9. A Bird’s Nest

       by James McIntyre

An old man who had charge of field,
With pride he saw two birds did build,
A broad capacious warm nest,
So full of young with speckled breast,
And when the old man there did pass,
They soon ran merry ‘mong the grass,
But of the youth they were so shy,
They made strong efforts for to fly.
Youths tried with old man to prevail,
To let them blaze away at quail,
But though they longed for a fat pot,
At them they never got a shot.
No more the old man doth them shield,
For they have flown to broader field,
Long may they spread their wings and tail,
And may no foe them ‘ere assail.

10. The Little Bird upon the Tree

       by Annette Wynne

The little bird upon the tree
Knows more, far more, than you or me;
And no wise man could teach him how
To hang a nest safe from the bough,
And no wise man need tell him when
It’s time to start down South again.

Beautiful Bird Poems

This category has a list of beautiful poetries about birds. The poems paint a vivid picture of the birds and their majestic flight.

1. The Reveille

       by Anonymous

It is made of the jubilant sparrows,
All chirping a different song,
And the song sparrow singing supremely,
So royally rippling along,
It is made of the chirruping robins
The orioles carolling gay
The pewees plaintively urgent
The trumpeting crow and the jay.
It is made of the yellowthroat’s whistle,
And the redstart’s sibilant rune,
Of the towhee’s militant summons,
And the vireo’s iterant tune.
It’s a rare and imperial chorus,
So jauntily merry and true;
Bird brothers! ’tis mightily pleasant
Beginning the day’s work with you!

2. Little Bird, O Will You Be?

       by Annette Wynne

Little Bird, O, will you be
A neighbor to me?
I shall do my very best
To guard your nest.
You may live safe overhead,
Share with me my daily bread;
Live at peace here in my tree,
But, please, Bird, share your songs with me!

3. Nest Eggs

       by Robert Louis Stevenson

Birds all the sunny day
Flutter and quarrel
Here in the arbour-like
Tent of the laurel.

Here in the fork
The brown nest is seated;
Four little blue eggs
The mother keeps heated.

While we stand watching her
Staring like gabies,
Safe in each egg are the
Bird’s little babies.

Soon the frail eggs they shall
Chip, and upspringing
Make all the April woods
Merry with singing.

Younger than we are,
O children, and frailer,
Soon in blue air they’ll be,
Singer and sailor.

We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.

They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High over head in the
Tops of the beeches.

In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,
We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking.

4. The Building of the Nest

       by Margaret Sangster

They’ll come again to the apple tree—
Robin and all the rest—
When the orchard branches are fair to see,
In the snow of the blossoms dressed;
And the prettiest thing in the world will be
The building of the nest.
Weaving it well, so round and trim,
Hollowing it with care,—
Nothing too far away for him,
Nothing for her too fair,—
Hanging it safe on the topmost limb,
Their castle in the air.
Ah! mother bird, you’ll have weary days
When the eggs are under your breast,
And shadow may darken the dancing rays
When the wee ones leave the nest;
But they’ll find their wings in a glad amaze.
And God will see to the rest.
So come to the trees with all your train
When the apple blossoms blow;
Through the April shimmer of sun and rain,
Go flying to and fro;
And sing to our hearts as we watch again
Your fairy building grow.

5. Unwanted Guest

       by Daniel Turner

Awakened before dawn, I gasped for breath
A sound of dark foreboding breaks the still
Outside, the unrelenting, “song of death”
That soul collector, singing, ” whip-poor-will”

Before twilight, he lands high in the pine
His feathers tan and brown, his neck plumes white
In repetitious cries that chill the spine
He calls lost souls to him before first light

And though no souls may come, he sings his song
So maddening, it makes the weary weep
His tax upon the living until dawn
The only payment he accepts is sleep

I hope the morning finds him a new tree
Someplace, far, far away, from sleeping me

6. Song

       by John Keats

I had a dove, and the sweet dove died;
And I have thought it died of grieving:
O, what could it grieve for? its feet were tied
With a single thread of my own hand’s weaving;
Sweet little red feet, why should you die–

Why should you leave me, sweet bird, why?
You lived alone in the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss’d you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?

7. The Yellowhammer’s Nest

       by John Clare

Just by the wooden brig a bird flew up,
Frit by the cowboy as he scrambled down
To reach the misty dewberry—let us stoop
And seek its nest—the brook we need not dread,
’Tis scarcely deep enough a bee to drown,
So it sings harmless o’er its pebbly bed
—Ay here it is, stuck close beside the bank
Beneath the bunch of grass that spindles rank
Its husk seeds tall and high—’tis rudely planned
Of bleachèd stubbles and the withered fare
That last year’s harvest left upon the land,
Lined thinly with the horse’s sable hair.
Five eggs, pen-scribbled o’er with ink their shells
Resembling writing scrawls which fancy reads
As nature’s poesy and pastoral spells—
They are the yellowhammer’s and she dwells
Most poet-like where brooks and flowery weeds
As sweet as Castaly to fancy seems
And that old molehill like as Parnass’ hill
On which her partner haply sits and dreams
O’er all her joys of song—so leave it still
A happy home of sunshine, flowers and streams.
Yet in the sweetest places cometh ill,
A noisome weed that burthens every soil;
For snakes are known with chill and deadly coil
To watch such nests and seize the helpless young,
And like as though the plague became a guest,
Leaving a houseless home, a ruined nest—
And mournful hath the little warblers sung
When such like woes hath rent its little breast.

8. Bird of the Sky

       by Annette Wynne

Bird of the sky,
How does it feel to dart and fly,
How does it feel to soar all day
“Over the hills and far away”?
To live in a tree,
To build a house as fine as can be,
To build it safe, and warm, and high,
And call it home—bird of the sky?
To perch and sing,
Up there where the leaves are quivering,
Singing and winging and building high,
How does it feel—bird of the sky?

9. Don’t Kill the Birds

       by Anonymous

Don’t kill the birds! the little birds,
That sing about your door
Soon as the joyous Spring has come,
And chilling storms are o’er.
The little birds! how sweet they sing!
Oh, let them joyous live;
And do not seek to take the life
Which you can never give.
Don’t kill the birds! the pretty birds,
That play among the trees;
For earth would be a cheerless place,
If it were not for these.
The little birds! how fond they play!
Do not disturb their sport;
But let them warble forth their songs,
Till winter cuts them short.
Don’t kill the birds! the happy birds,
That bless the field and grove;
So innocent to look upon,
They claim our warmest love.
The happy birds, the tuneful birds,
How pleasant ‘t is to see!
No spot can be a cheerless place
Where’er their presence be.

Funny Bird Poems

This collection of interesting bird poems features a variety of fun and creative verses that are sure to delight and amuse.

1. Desperate for a Date

       by Chris Hagy

All day long the little bird cries
Over and over again he tries
Full array for all the ladies passing by

Can’t they see he’s found a home
Where little babies can be grown
But he cannot do it alone

He’s desperate for a date
He really needs a mate
In month of May it’s not too late

On the little red house there sits a perch
Where on and off he chirps and chirps
But all the ladies only flirt

So alas this tale has but a sad end
As the little house sits with no one to attend
For it seems his services he could not lend

2. Bird Poop in My Eye

       by John Beharry

Bird Poop in My Eye
Looking up into the sky
a bird pooped in my eye
as it was flying overhead
causing me to see red

It was warm and soggy
making me feel queasy
I scurried into the house
like an upset little mouse

I headed for the kitchen sink
and got there in a blink
Using the faucet spout
I tried to flush it out

When it was expelled
it had a funny smell
and the sink water
had a dirty colour

So when a bird is flying overhead
keep your head down instead
Do not look up into the sky
or you may get poop in your eye

3. Fatso

       by Jesse Rowe

They said how she ate was absurd;
A “Fatso”, they called her she heard,
And ever since then
That poor, baby wren
Just pecked at her food like a bird.

4. Captain ‘effing’ Flint

       by Gary Smith

My parrots name was Captain Flint,
Boy that bird could swear.
I never invited visitors,
So blue was the air.

He’d squawk “pretty effing polly”
Or “give us a cracker you t##t”
I’d never heard such swearing,
I never taught him that.

I bought him off a sailor
Who was heading back to sea,
He said to me, “you’ll love him
He’s such good company.”

And what he said was right
He entertained, it’s true.
I said “who’s a pretty boy then”
He squawked, ” well not effing you!”

The profanities just got too much,
I sold him, with regret.
But the house seems so quiet now,
Without my ‘effing’ pet!

5. Unfortunate Singer

       by Richard Breese

my friend quigley likes to sing
really almost any thing
till once a high note
caused a bird to float
back down to earth less one wing.

6. Foul Mouth Parrot

       by Randy Johnson

I bought a parrot but he has a foul mouth.
I let him loose so that he could fly South.
But he came home again.
This proves that I can’t win.
He says the F word two hundred times a day.
He offends everybody and drives them away.
Nobody will take this bird even though I offer to pay them.
I’m going out of my mind, it looks like I’m stuck with him.
I have the only parrot on Earth that’s a sinner.
If he doesn’t shut up, he’s going to be my dinner.

7. Peek a Boo

       by Helen Roberts

The squirrel this morning hid behind the wall but there was a bushy tail sticking up over the top.  It was funny so I wrote this.

Every morning I throw out nuts
I like to see you and the birds
it makes me happy to see you there
enjoying them all beyond words

You sit on the stone wall
then run when I appear
you’re so timid and shy
I won’t disturb, not here

It’s lovely to see you
little twitchy nose and all
you don’t need to worry
you’re so sweet and small

Fill up your tummy
enjoy all the nuts
leave some for the birds
the big ones may cut

It’s funny when you hide
think I can’t see you’re trail
peek a boo little one
above the wall, just a bushy tail.

Spiritual Bird Poems

These spiritual poems about birds explore the deep connection between birds and the divine and how they symbolize higher spiritual truths.

1. Two Visitors from Heaven

       by Caren Krutsinger

a yellow bird in the silence of winter
this is curious, so I sneak to my window
moving slowly, so I do not scare it.
a red streak flies across and lands

two cardinals! they are messengers
I have heard of this, but had not experienced it
on a pure white day, where schools are closed
here they sit – two of my favorite relatives.

my aunt pearl, who always wore red
and my uncle Pete who had a yellow fetish
He wanted yellow all over the house
Claimed he needed it more than ever in winter

Hello! I said to the window. Thank you for visiting!
They stayed for a while. Long enough for me to get a photo.
I showed it to my mother, but she did not understand.
Being religious, not spiritual.

2. Birds of Prayer

       by Clifford Villalon

two birds meet under a tree
preened feathers, standing so free
chirping with glee, wings of plea
praying together like Thee

3. Spirits in Mid-Day

       by Charles Messina

On a mid-day in September
‘Bout a minute just past three
I had seen a cardinal in a rose bush
And I’m sure that he’d seen me
‘Cause when I stood there observing him
Like a treasured holy grail
He looked at me and tweeted twice
And then he shook his tail
A single reddish-yellow rose
No others have I seen
Just the one with a blue-like ring
With speckled spots of green
Caught- there in a moment
Thought- ’bout what someone said
That when you see a cardinal
It’s a messenger from the dead
We watched each other’s eyes; in trance
As time kept frozen still
Then, when I saw him fly away
It left me with a chill

4. The Falcon

       by Lee Geoghegan

I recall a life when I could fly,
Gliding gracefully upon cool winds way up high,
My prey lived in fear, I used to terrify,
I was a falcon, a raptor of the sky.

I soared majestically over great skies above,
Preparation for the hunt was a labour of love,
Cruising great valleys and magnificent hills,
The sweat and toil all worthwhile, when the blood finally spills.

Scouring below for an unwitting victim to stalk,
Suddenly, I’m diving upon my prey like a tomahawk,
My mind made up, my focus absolute,
Blazing through the clouds, I’m in full pursuit.

The thrill of the hunt, the same old story since ancient Babylon,
My prey ‘none the wiser’ until he was sprung upon,
Clasping him tightly within my powerful talon,
His last breath taken, now a journey to Avalon.

It was after my accident when it all became clear,
The life I lived before I ended up here,
It all came flooding back and brought many a tear,
That other life I once embraced and held oh so dear.

Once upon a time, I was a falcon,
The blue sky my territory, my conquered domain,
I welcomed the harshest winds and the rain,
This incredible revelation has numbed all of my pain.

I was once quite different from the man you see now,
This life is just a dream that I’ve awoken from somehow,
Fortunately, my injuries are too severe, it’s time to take a bow,
For I long to return to those blue skies once more, that’s my dying vow.

5. The Crow

       by Andy Ervin

one grey day I felt the sky start falling
as the big black crow came calling
he brings a message, nobody wants to hear
he brings the message that we all fear
i try to ignore him over and over
though he returns like a wondering drover
he brings the the voice from spirits above
calling you home to share their love
day by day he returns to me
watching and waiting, standing over me
weeks go by, his message is clear
and I receive the news that we all do fear
his job is done, I see him no more
I accept his message and now I’m sure
I know the future as I walk through that door
I am not scared of what’s on the other side
when the crow comes calling, there is nowhere to hide

Short Bird Poems

This category of short poetry about birds is an excellent collection of diverse and creative works that capture the beauty and grace of nature’s feathered friends.

1. For a Bird

       by Myra Cohn Livingstone

I found him lying near the tree;
I folded up his wings.
Oh, little bird,
You never heard
The song the summer sings.
I wrapped him in a shirt I wore in winter;
it was blue.
Oh, little bird,
You never heard
The song I sang to you.

2. The Hummingbird

       by Harry Kemp

The sunlight speaks. And it’s voice is a bird:
It glitters half-guessed half seen half-heard
Above the flower bed. Over the lawn …
A flashing dip and it is gone.
And all it lends to the eye is this –
A sunbeam giving the air a kiss.

3. A Question

       by Anonymous

A little bird sat on a telegraph wire,
And said to his mates: “I declare,
If wireless telegraphy comes into vogue,
We’ll all have to sit on the air.”

4. If I Were a Bird

       by Jackie Silberg

If I were a bird, I’d sing a song
And fly about the whole day long
And when the night comes, go to rest,
Up in my cozy little nest.

5. Birds

       by Richard Henry Stoddard

Birds are singing round my window,
Tunes the sweetest ever heard,
And I hang my cage there daily,
But I never catch a bird.
So with thoughts my brain is peopled,
And they sing there all day long:
But they will not fold their pinions
In the little cage of Song!

6. God Made the Little Birds to Sing

       by Anonymous

God made the little birds to sing,
And flit from tree to tree;
‘Tis He who sends them in the spring
To sing for you and me.

7. A Train Went Through a Burial Gate

       by Emily Dickinson

A train went through a burial gate,
A bird broke forth and sang,
And trilled, and quivered, and shook his throat
Till all the churchyard rang;

And then adjusted his little notes,
And bowed and sang again.
Doubtless, he thought it meet of him
To say good-by to men.

8. A Duet

       by John B. Tabb

A little yellow Bird above,
A little yellow Flower below;
The little Bird can sing the love
That Bird and Blossom know;
The Blossom has no song nor wing,
But breathes the love he cannot sing.

9. To a Bird

       by Annette Wynne

O bird that darts now low, now high,
You know the streets across the sky;
You know where leafy lanes lie deep
And quiet nooks to go to sleep;
You know the place to build a nest,
What twigs to use, what shape is best;
I wonder how you found things out
That scholars never know about;
I’ve studied large books through and through,
But never can be wise as you!

Long Bird Poems

Here is a collection of long poetry about birds that celebrate the beauty and freedom of these enchanting creatures.

1. Migration of Birds

       by Lydia Howard Sigourney

November came on, with an eye severe,
And his stormy language was hoarse to hear;
And the glittering garland of brown and red,
Which he wreathed for a while round the forest’s head,
With a sudden anger he rent away,
And all was cheerless, and bare, and gray.
Then the houseless grasshopper told his woes,
And the humming-bird sent forth a wail for the rose,
And the spider, that weaver of cunning so deep,
Roll’d himself up in a ball to sleep;
And the cricket his merry horn laid by
On the shelf, with the pipe of the dragon-fly.
Soon the birds were heard, at the morning prime,
Consulting of flight to a warmer clime.
“Let us go! let us go!” said the bright-wing’d jay;
And his gay spouse sang from a rocking spray,
“I am tired to death of this hum-drum tree,
I’ll go, if ’tis only the world to see.”
“Will you go?” asked the robin, “my only love?”
And a tender strain from the leafless grove
Responded, “Wherever your lot is cast,
Mid summer skies or the northern blast,
I am still at your side your heart to cheer,
Though dear is our nest in the thicket here.”
“I am ready to go,” cried the querulous wren,
“From the hateful homes of these northern men;
My throat is sore, and my feet are blue;
I fear I have caught the consumption too.”
And the oriole told, with a flashing eye,
How his plumage was spoil’d by this frosty sky.
Then up went the thrush with a trumpet-call,
And the martins came forth from their box on the wall,
And the owlets peep’d out from their secret bower,
And the swallows convened on the old church-tower,
And the council of blackbirds was long and loud,
Chattering and flying from tree to cloud.
“The dahlia is dead on her throne,” said they;
“And we saw the butterfly cold as clay;
Not a berry is found on the russet plains,
Not a kernel of ripen’d maize remains;
Every worm is hid—shall we longer stay
To be wasted with famine? Away! Away!”
But what a strange clamour on elm and oak,
From a bevy of brown-coated mocking-birds’ broke;
The theme of each separate speaker they told
In a shrill report, with such mimicry bold,
That the eloquent orators started to hear
Their own true echo, so wild and clear.
Then tribe after tribe, with its leader fair,
Swept off, through the fathomless depths of air.
Who marketh their course to the tropics bright?
Who nerveth their wing for its weary flight?
Who guideth that caravan’s trackless way
By the star at night and the cloud by day?
Some spread o’er the waters a daring wing,
In the isles of the southern sea to sing,
Or where the minaret, towering high,
Pierces the blue of the Moslem sky,
Or amid the harem’s haunts of fear
Their lodges to build and their nurslings rear.
The Indian fig, with its arching screen,
Welcomes them in to its vistas green,
And the breathing buds of the spicy tree
Thrill at the burst of their melody,
And the bulbul starts, mid his carol clear,
Such a rushing of stranger-wings to hear.
O wild-wood wanderers! how far away
From your rural homes in our vales ye stray.
But when they are waked by the touch of Spring,
Shall we see you again with your glancing wing?
Your nests mid our household trees to raise,
And stir our hearts in our Maker’s praise?

2. Birds

       by Moira O’Neill

Sure maybe ye’ve heard the storm-thrush
Whistlin’ bould in March,
Before there’s a primrose peepin’ out,
Or a wee red cone on the larch;
Whistlin’ the sun to come out o’ the cloud,
An’ the wind to come over the sea,
But for all he can whistle so clear an’ loud,
He’s never the bird for me.
Sure maybe ye’ve seen the song-thrush
After an April rain
Slip from in-undher the drippin’ leaves,
Wishful to sing again;
An’ low wi’ love when he’s near the nest,
An’ loud from the top o’ the tree,
But for all he can flutter the heart in your breast,
He’s never the bird for me.
Sure maybe ye’ve heard the cushadoo
Callin’ his mate in May,
When one sweet thought is the whole of his life,
An’ he tells it the one sweet way.
But my heart is sore at the cushadoo
Filled wid his own soft glee,
Over an’ over his “me an’ you!”
He’s never the bird for me.
Sure maybe ye’ve heard the red-breast
Singin’ his lone on a thorn,
Mindin’ himself o’ the dear days lost,
Brave wid his heart forlorn.
The time is in dark November,
An’ no spring hopes has he:
“Remember,” he sings, “remember!”
Ay, thon’s the wee bird for me.

3. The Birds Discuss the Aeroplane

       by Anonymous

Said the Owl: “It’s a marvel! I never have heard
Of such a gigantic, impossible bird.”
Said the Vulture: “Its wings are of awkward design,
But as big as a hundred, a thousand, of mine.”
Said the Swallow: “It’s one of the funniest things,
For often I’ve seen it with two pairs of wings.”
Said the Thrush: “What a clatter and whir are its cries!
And it won’t sing a note except when it flies.”
Said the Eagle: “It climbs most amazingly high;
I’ve met it a mile or more up in the sky.”
Said the Buzzard: “It soars with a beautiful grace,
And it curves and it dives at a wonderful pace.”
Said the Duck: “I have seen one afloat on the sea,
That rose from the water exactly like me.”
Said the Hawk: “It’s astounding! Again and again
I’ve seen the bird capture and carry off–men!”
“But sometimes it tumbles,” the Whippoorwill said,
“And lies on the ground like a bundle of lead.”
“And one,” said the Crane, “with a terrible sound
Exploded, and fell, all afire, to the ground.”
“Dear me!” said they all, “what a puzzling affair!
It’s the queerest of creatures that fly in the air!”

4. The Choristers

       by Bliss Carman

When earth was finished and fashioned well,
There was never a musical note to tell
How glad God was, save the voice of the rain
And the sea and the wind on the lonely plain
And the rivers among the hills.
And so God made the marvellous birds
For a choir of joy transcending words,
That the world might hear and comprehend
How rhythm and harmony can mend
The spirits’ hurts and ills.
He filled their tiny bodies with fire,
He taught them love for their chief desire,
And gave them the magic of wings to be
His celebrants over land and sea,
Wherever man might dwell.
And to each he apportioned a fragment of song—
Those broken melodies that belong
To the seraphs’ chorus, that we might learn
The healing of gladness and discern
In beauty how all is well.
So music dwells in the glorious throats
Forever, and the enchanted notes
Fall with rapture upon our ears,
Moving our hearts to joy and tears
For things we cannot say.
In the wilds the whitethroat sings in the rain
His pure, serene, half-wistful strain;
And when twilight falls the sleeping hills
Ring with the cry of the whippoorwills
In the blue dusk far away.
In the great white heart of the winter storm
The chickadee sings, for his heart is warm,
And his note is brave to rally the soul
From doubt and panic to self-control
And elation that knows no fear.
The bluebird comes with the winds of March,
Like a shred of sky on the naked larch;
The redwing follows the April rain
To whistle contentment back again
With his sturdy call of cheer.
The orioles revel through orchard boughs
In their coats of gold for spring’s carouse;
In shadowy pastures the bobwhites call,
And the flute of the thrush has a melting fall
Under the evening star.
On the verge of June when peonies blow
And joy comes back to the world we know,
The bobolinks fill the fields of light
With a tangle of music silver-bright
To tell how glad they are.
The tiny warblers fill summer trees
With their exquisite lesser litanies;
The tanager in his scarlet coat
In the hemlock pours from a vibrant throat
His canticle of the sun.
The loon on the lake, the hawk in the sky,
And the sea-gull—each has a piercing cry,
Like outposts set in the lonely vast
To cry “all’s well” as Time goes past
And another hour is gone.
But of all the music in God’s plan
Of a mystical symphony for man,
I shall remember best of all—
Whatever hereafter may befall
Or pass and cease to be—
The hermit’s hymn in the solitudes
Of twilight through the mountain woods,
And the field-larks crying about our doors
On the soft sweet wind across the moors
At morning by the sea.

5. The Phoenix and the Turtle

       by William Shakespeare

Let the bird of loudest lay
On the sole Arabian tree
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

But thou shrieking harbinger,
Foul precurrer of the fiend,
Augur of the fever’s end,
To this troop come thou not near.

From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feather’d king;
Keep the obsequy so strict.

Let the priest in surplice white,
That defunctive music can,
Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.

And thou treble-dated crow,
That thy sable gender mak’st
With the breath thou giv’st and tak’st,
‘Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

Here the anthem doth commence:
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the Turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they lov’d, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance and no space was seen
‘Twixt this Turtle and his queen:
But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine
That the Turtle saw his right
Flaming in the Phoenix’ sight:
Either was the other’s mine.

Property was thus appalled
That the self was not the same;
Single nature’s double name
Neither two nor one was called.

Reason, in itself confounded,
Saw division grow together,
To themselves yet either neither,
Simple were so well compounded;

That it cried, “How true a twain
Seemeth this concordant one!
Love has reason, reason none,
If what parts can so remain.”

Whereupon it made this threne
To the Phoenix and the Dove,
Co-supremes and stars of love,
As chorus to their tragic scene:

Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclos’d, in cinders lie.

Death is now the Phoenix’ nest,
And the Turtle’s loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity:
‘Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.

Truth may seem but cannot be;
Beauty brag but ’tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

6. The Empty Bird’s Nest

       by Hannah Flagg Gould

And thou, my sad, little, lonely nest,
Hast oft been sought as the peaceful rest
Of a weary wing and a guiltless breast!
But where is thy builder now?
And what has become of the helpless brood,
For which the mother, with daily food,
Came flitting so light, through the spicy wood,
To her home on the waving bough?
The fowler, perhaps, has hurled the dart,
Which the parent bird has received in her heart;
And her tender orphans are scattered apart,
So wide, they never again
In thy warm, soft cell of love can meet,
And thou hast been filled with the snow and the sleet,
By the hail and the winds have thy sides been beat,
And drenched by the pitiless rain.
Though great was the toil which thy building cost,
With thy fibres so neatly coiled and crossed,
And thy lining of down, thou art lorn and lost,
A ruin beyond repair!
So I’ll take thee down, as I would not see
Such a sorrowful sight on the gay green tree;
And when I have torn thee, thy parts shall be,
Like thy tenants, dispersed in air.
Thou hast made me to think of each heart-woven tie;
Of the child’s first home, and of her, whose eye
Watched fondly o’er those, who were reared to die
Where the grave of a distant shore
Received to its bosom the strangers’ clay;
For when, as thy birds, they had passed away,
‘T was not to return, and the mother and they
In time were to meet no more!

7. The Little Bird’s Song

       by Anonymous

A little bird, with feathers brown,
Sat singing on a tree;
The song was very soft and low,
But sweet as it could be.
The people who were passing by,
Looked up to see the bird
That made the sweetest melody
That ever they had heard.
But all the bright eyes looked in vain;
Birdie was very small,
And with his modest, dark-brown coat,
He made no show at all.
“Why, father,” little Gracie said
“Where can the birdie be?
If I could sing a song like that,
I’d sit where folks could see.”
“I hope my little girl will learn
A lesson from the bird,
And try to do what good she can,
Not to be seen or heard.
“This birdie is content to sit
Unnoticed on the way,
And sweetly sing his Maker’s praise
From dawn to close of day.
“So live, my child, all through your life,
That, be it short or long,
Though others may forget your looks,
They’ll not forget your song.”

8. The Winter King

       by Hannah Flagg Gould

Oh! what will become of thee, poor little bird?
The muttering storm in the distance is heard;
The rough winds are waking, the clouds growing black,
They’ll soon scatter snowflakes all over thy back!
From what sunny clime hast thou wandered away?
And what art thou doing this cold winter day?
“I’m picking the gum from the old peach tree;
The storm doesn’t trouble me. Pee, dee, dee!”
But what makes thee seem so unconscious of care?
The brown earth is frozen, the branches are bare:
And how canst thou be so light-hearted and free,
As if danger and suffering thou never should’st see,
When no place is near for thy evening nest,
No leaf for thy screen, for thy bosom no rest?
“Because the same Hand is a shelter for me,
That took off the summer leaves. Pee, dee, dee!”
But man feels a burden of care and of grief,
While plucking the cluster and binding the sheaf:
In the summer we faint, in the winter we’re chilled,
With ever a void that is yet to be filled.
We take from the ocean, the earth, and the air,
Yet all their rich gifts do not silence our care.
“A very small portion sufficient will be,
If sweetened with gratitude. Pee, dee, dee!”
But soon there’ll be ice weighing down the light bough,
On which thou art flitting so playfully now;
And though there’s a vesture well fitted and warm,
Protecting the rest of thy delicate form,
What, then, wilt thou do with thy little bare feet,
To save them from pain, mid the frost and the sleet?
“I can draw them right up in my feathers, you see,
To warm them, and fly away. Pee, dee, dee!”
I thank thee, bright monitor; what thou hast taught
Will oft be the theme of the happiest thought;
We look at the clouds; while the birds have an eye
To Him who reigns over them, changeless and high.
And now little hero, just tell me thy name,
That I may be sure whence my oracle came.
“Because, in all weather, I’m merry and free,
They call me the Winter King. Pee, dee, dee!”

9. Snow-Birds

       by John Burroughs

From out the white and pulsing storm
I hear the snow-birds calling;
The sheeted winds stalk o’er the hills,
And fast the snow is falling.
Like children laughing at their play
I hear the birds a-twitter,
What care they that the skies are dim
Or that the cold is bitter?
On twinkling wings they eddy past,
At home amid the drifting,
Or seek the hills and weedy fields
Where fast the snow is sifting.
Their coats are dappled white and brown
Like fields in winter weather,
But on the azure sky they float
Like snowflakes knit together.
I’ve heard them on the spotless hills
Where fox and hound were playing,
The while I stood with eager ear
Bent on the distant baying.
The unmown fields are their preserves,
Where weeds and grass are seeding;
They know the lure of distant stacks
Where houseless herds are feeding.
O cheery bird of winter cold,
I bless thy every feather;
Thy voice brings back dear boyhood days
When we were gay together.

Bird Poems That Rhyme

Here, you will find a variety of rhyming poems about birds that use rhyme, rhythm, and imagery to bring these feathered creatures to life. Enjoy!

1. Inside the Shell

       by Amos Russel Wells

I am a bird in a shell,
Busy by night and by day
In decking and fashioning well
The spherical home where I stay.
With the warm red blood of my heart
I paint the enveloping white
In forms of luxuriant art,
In symbols of grace and delight.
This is the world and the all,
This that enwraps me around,
This warm, symmetrical ball
Without beginning or bound.
Strange are the voices that come
My peaceful contentment to mar;
For the spaces beyond it are dumb,
If spaces beyond it there are.
Strange are the forces that stir
This orbic mansion and me.
For we are all things that ever were,
And all that ever can be.
And so I do wisely and well,
Adorning by night and by day
This perfect and permanent shell,
My dwelling forever nnd aye.

2. Bird Egotism

       by Amos Russell Wells

A vireo sings in the top of the tree
The whole of the livelong day.
He sings: “See me! Look at me! See me!”
And that is all he can say.
He is well worth looking at, natty and trim
In his garments of olive green;
He is hard at work on his leafy limb,
And he wears the friendliest mien.
But he sings: “Here, here! Look at me! Look, look!
See me! Look at me! Do, do!”
And that is the whole of his wisest book,
Declaiming it through and through.
I like his grit, and I like his cheer,
And surely he’s good to see;
But I own it is tiresome forever to hear;
“See me! Look at me! See me!”

3. Nineteen Birds

       by Anonymous

Nineteen birds and one bird more,
Just make twenty, and that’s a score.
To the score then add but one;
That will make just twenty-one.
Now add two, and you will see
You have made up twenty-three.
If you like these clever tricks.
Add three more-for twenty-six.
Then three more, if you have time;
Now you’ve got to twenty-nine.
Twenty-nine now quickly take—
Add one more and Thirty make.

4. The Nest

       by Jessica Amanda Salmonson

The Nest
Have you heard
about the bird
Who built a nest
with zeal and zest?

With zeal and zest
with string and straw
It was the best nest
you ever saw.

She took her time
and smoothed out the creases
Then out jumped a chipmunk
who tore it to pieces.

5. Birds at Night

       by Amos Russel Wells

Soft little hush songs heard in the night,
Young birds practising songs in their sleep,
Old birds dreaming of sunshiny flight,
Sweep, pe-e-ep, sweep!
Daintiest fragments of daylight song
Drift through my window out of the dark,
Drift through my window all the night long,
Hark, che-e-e, hark!
Lying I listen and take to my soul
Fine little lessons of hope and of cheer,
Darkness and daylight one beautiful whole,
Hear, swe-e-et, hear!

6. Answer to a Child’s Question

       by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, “I love and I love!”
In the winter they’re silent—the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don’t know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving—all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings, and forever sings he—
“I love my Love, and my Love loves me!”

7. Sing On, Blithe Bird

       by William Motherwell

I’ve plucked the berry from the bush, the brown nut from the tree,
But heart of happy little bird ne’er broken was by me.
I saw them in their curious nests, close couching, slyly peer
With their wild eyes, like glittering beads, to note if harm were near;
I passed them by, and blessed them all; I felt that it was good
To leave unmoved the creatures small whose home was in the wood
And here, even now, above my head, a lusty rogue doth sing;
He pecks his swelling breast and neck, and trims his little wing.
He will not fly; he knows full well, while chirping on that spray,
I would not harm him for the world, or interrupt his lay.
Sing on, sing on, blithe bird! and fill my heart with summer gladness;
It has been aching many a day with measures full of sadness!

8. To a Bird

       by Raymond Garfield Dandridge

Sweet singer, how I envy you,
Faint, fleeting, speck ‘gainst azure hue.
You have gone up to chant your lay,
While I must be content to stay
Below, and gaze, with hungry eyes,
Upon you, soaring t’ward the prize.

9. The Wounded Bird

       by Hannah Flagg Gould

Here’s the last food your poor mother can bring!
Take it, my suffering brood!
Oh! they have stricken me under the wing;
See, it is dripping with blood!
Fair was the morn, and I wished them to rise
And taste of its beauties with me;
The air was all fragrance, all splendor the skies;
And bright shone the earth and the sea.
Little I thought, when so freely I went,
Spending my earliest breath
To wake them with song, it could be their intent
To pay me with arrows and death!
Fear that my nestlings would feel them forgot
Helped me, a moment, to fly;
Else, I had given up life on the spot,
Under my murderer’s eye.
Feeble and faint, I have reached you, at length,
Over the hill and the plain,
Strewing my feathers, and losing my strength,
Wounded and throbbing with pain!
Yet, I can never brood o’er you again,
Closing you under my breast!
Its coldness would chill you; my blood would but stain
And spoil the warm down in your nest.
Ere the night-coming, your mother will lie
Motionless, under the tree—
Helpless and silent, I still shall be nigh,
While ye are moaning for me!

Bird Poems for Kids

Here is some easy bird poetry for children that will help them appreciate and learn about the beautiful world of birds.

1. A Bird, Came Down the Walk

       by Emily Dickinson

A Bird, came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw –
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass –
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass –

He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad –
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. –

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers,
And rowed him softer Home –

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.

2. A Hatching Song

       by Judy Sierra

I’m almost hatched! I’m almost hatched!
I’m small, I’m wet, I’m not out yet.
I’m almost hatched!
I’m pecking hard, I’m pecking hard.
I’m tired, I’m weak, it hurts my beak.
I’m pecking hard.
My head’s outside, my head’s outside.
The moon is bright – the world’s so white!
My head’s outside.
I’m really hatched, I’m really hatched.
At last I’m free. Hey, Dad, it’s me!
I’m really hatched.

3. What Does Little Birdie Say?

       by Alfred Lord Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
“Let me fly,” says little birdie,
“Mother, let me fly away.”

Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
“Let me rise and fly away.”

Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby, too, shall fly away.

4. Early Bird

       by Shel Silverstein

Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you’re a bird, be an early early bird-
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

5. Consider the Penguin

       by Lucy W. Rhu

Consider the penguin
He’s smart as can be –
Dressed in his dinner clothes

You never can tell
When you see him about,
If he’s just coming in
Or just going out!

6. The Chickadees

       by Harriet Jenks

Four little chickadees, sitting in a tree;
One flew away and then there were three.
Chickadee, chickadee, happy and gay,
Chickadee, chickadee, fly away.

Three little chickadees don’t know what to do;
One flew away and then there were two.
Chickadee, chickadee, happy and gay,
Chickadee, chickadee, fly away.

Two little chickadees sitting in the sun;
One flew away and then there was one.
Chickadee, chickadee, happy and gay,
Chickadee, chickadee, fly away.

One little chickadee can’t have any fun;
He flew away, and then there were none.
Chickadee, chickadee, happy and gay,
Chickadee, chickadee, fly away.

7. Preening

       by Frank Asch

Preening every day,
what a chore! wing up,
leg out,
and stretch.
Preening every day,
what a bore!
Wing down, leg in,
and nibble.
Preening every day
is the price we pay
to crouch, spring, and soar!
Flying day and night, what a delight!

8. Birdie’s Morning Song

       by George Cooper

Wake up, little darling, the birdies are out,
And here you are still in your nest!
The laziest birdie is hopping about;
You ought to be up with the rest.
Wake up, little darling, wake up!
Oh, see what you miss when you slumber so long—
The dewdrops, the beautiful sky!
I cannot sing half what you lose in my song;
And yet, not a word in reply.
Wake up, little darling, wake up!
I’ve sung myself quite out of patience with you,
While mother bends o’er your dear head;
Now birdie has done all that birdie can do:
Her kisses will wake you instead!
Wake up, little darling, wake up!

Final Thoughts

To sum up, bird poems have been an integral part of English literature for centuries, with many renowned poets taking inspiration from these feathered creatures.

From Shakespeare’s sonnets to Emily Dickinson’s delicate verses, poems for birds have captured the hearts and minds of people around the world.

These poems offer us a unique perspective on the natural world and remind us of the beauty of nature.

If you’re a bird lover or appreciate the power of poetry, take some time to explore the best bird poems in English literature.

Share your favorite bird poem in the comments below!

Good Luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *