Quotations about   bird

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The mocking bird is music-mad to-night,
He thinks the stars are notes;
That he must sing each spattered star, and be
A choir of many throats.

The earth is his cathedral, and its dome
Is all the light-pricked sky;
The pear-tree is his choir loft, and there
He flings his mad songs high.

Grace Noll Crowell
Grace Noll Crowell (1877-1969) American poet
“Music-Mad,” Good Housekeeping (Jun 1923)
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Added on 9-Sep-21 | Last updated 9-Sep-21
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“What, did St. Francis preach to the birds?” asked Kate. “Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to cats.”

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
This Real Night (1984)
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Added on 19-Aug-21 | Last updated 19-Aug-21
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I walked in the woods and looked at the birds, and I thought: How dreadful that people shut up birds in cages. If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages, they should all be free–

Isak Dinesen (1885-1962) Danish writer [pseud. of Karen Christence, Countess Blixen]
“The Deluge at Norderney,” Seven Gothic Tales (1934)
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Added on 12-Aug-21 | Last updated 12-Aug-21
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Birds! Birds! Ye are beautiful things,
With your earth-treading feet and your cloud-cleaving wings!

Eliza Cook
Eliza Cook (1818-1889) English author and poet
“Birds,” The Poetical Works of Eliza Cook (1848)
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Added on 5-Aug-21 | Last updated 5-Aug-21
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Over increasingly large areas of the United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song.

Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) American marine biologist, author, conservationist
Silent Spring, ch. 8 “And No Birds Sing” (1962)
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This passage served as inspiration for the book title.
 
Added on 22-Jul-21 | Last updated 22-Jul-21
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Be like the bird, who
Halting in his flight
On limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he hath wings.

[Soyez comme l’oiseau, posé pour un instant
Sur des rameaux trop frêles,
Qui sent ployer la branche et qui chante pourtant,
Sachant qu’il a des ailes!]

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
“In the Church of *** [Dans l’eglise de ***],” Songs of Dusk [Les chants du crepuscule], #33 sec. 6 (1836)
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Full French poem. Alternative translations:
  • Be like the bird that, on a bough too frail
    To bear him, gaily sings!
    He carols -- thought he slender branches fail:
    He knows that he has wings. [Source]
  • Be like the bird that seeks its short repose
    And dauntless sings
    Upon that bending twig, because it knows
    That it has wings. [Source]
  • Be like that bird, that halting in her flight
    A while on boughs too slight;
    Feels them give way beneath her,
    And yet sings, yet sings,
    Knowing that she hath wings.
    [Laura Sedgwick Collins 1890s song, "Be Like That Bird"]
  • Thou art like the bird
    That alights and sings
    Though the frail spray bends --
    For he knows he has wings.[tr. Kemble (Butler)]
 
Added on 7-Feb-20 | Last updated 7-Feb-20
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Birds should be saved because of utilitarian reasons; and, moreover, they should be saved because of reasons unconnected with any return in dollars and cents. A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral. The extermination of the passenger pigeon meant that mankind was just so much poorer; exactly as in the case of the destruction of the cathedral at Rheims.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
“Bird Reserves at the Mouth of the Mississippi,” A Book Lover’s Holiday in the Open (1916)
 
Added on 9-Mar-15 | Last updated 9-Mar-15
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The grackle’s voice is less than mellow,
His heart is black, his eye is yellow,
He bullies more attractive birds
With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
And should a human interfere,
Attacks that human in the rear.
I cannot help but deem the grackle
An ornithological debacle.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“The Grackle”
 
Added on 2-Mar-15 | Last updated 2-Mar-15
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Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.

John Heywood (1497?-1580?) English playwright and epigrammist
Proverbes, Part 1, ch. 2 (1546)
 
Added on 16-Feb-15 | Last updated 13-Jul-20
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God loved the birds and invented trees.
Man loved the birds and invented cages.

Jacques Deval (1895-1972) French playwright and director [pseud. of Jacques Boularan]
Afin de vivre bel et bien (1970)
 
Added on 2-Feb-15 | Last updated 2-Feb-15
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