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Ode to the Birds {two} Another Small Collection of Poems

Updated on August 8, 2015

Illustration -Golden Oriole


This is the second in a series of articles sharing some of the poetry I have collated. I can take no credit for the poetry in this hub, with the exception that I would like to share them with you. Most are taken from books or articles that were printed in the 1800,s, indeed some of the poets are unknown. I came across most of them while doing research for other subjects. i hope you enjoy them as I did.

Illustration of a nest

Nest and eggs of the birds of Ohio
Nest and eggs of the birds of Ohio

Birds Nest

The skylark's nest among the grass,

And waving corn is found;

The Robin's on a shady bank,

With oak leaves shrewn around.

The wren builds in an ivied thorn,

Or old and ruined wall,

The mossy nest so covered in,

You scarce see them at all.

The Martins build their nest of clay,

In rows beneath the eaves;

The silvery lichens, moss and hair

The chaffinch interweaves.

The cuckoo makes no nest at all,

But through the woods she strays,

Until she finds one snug and warm,

And there her eggs she lays.

The sparrow has a nest of hay'

With feathers warmly lined;

The ring dove's careless nest of sticks,

On lofty trees we find.

Rooks build together in a wood,

And often disagree;

The Owl will build inside a barn

Or in a hollow tree.

The blackbird's nest of grass and mud,

In a bush or bank is found;

The lapwing's dark and spotted eggs

Are laid upon the ground.

The magpie's nest is made with thorns,

In leafless tree or hedge;

The wild duck and the water-hen

Build by the water's edge.

Birds build their nests from year to year,

According to their kind;

Some very neat and beautiful

Some simpler ones we find.

The habits of each little bird

And all its patient skill,

Are surely taught by God himself

And ordered by his will.

{unknown author}


" In the hollow tree, in the gray old tower,

The spectre owl doth dwell;

Dull, hated, despised in the sunshine hour,

But at dusk he is abroad and well.

Not a bird of the forest ere mates with him'

All mock him outright by day;

But at night when the woods grow still and dim,

The boldest will shrink away;

o, when the night falls and roost the fowl,

Then, then, is the reign of the horned owl"

{Unknown Author}

" The night owl in the thicket wails,

In tones of Melancholy,

As if bemoaning inits age,

Its years of youthful folly"

{unknown author}

" Thou art an ill-named bird, my lady owl,

Who sittest before me on the lonely bough;

men had less reason e'er to wince or scowl,

Had thy sex all such mellow tones as thou

" The shimmering light from off the winter moon,

Falls rich and soft upon the quiet wood;

As rich and soft as thy fond, material croon

That warms with sound, this snow clad neighborhood.

" The birds that nest in summer mid these trees,

At frost to tropic climes and cheer they go

But thou dost stay in spite of chilling breeze,

To comfort with thy tender temelo"

{ By Wm. A. Wood}

Barn owl illustration




A few of the bird family

" The old bobwhite and chip bird,

The flicker and the chee-wink;

And little hopty-skip bird,

Along the river brink

The blackbird and snow bird;

The chicken-hawk and crane;

The glossy old black crow

And the buzzard down the lane.

The yellow bird and red bird,

The tom tit and the cat;

The thrush and the red-head bird

The rest's all pickin' at!

The jay bird and the black blue bird,

The sap suck and the wren-

The cockadoodle -doo bird,

And our old settin' hen!

{ By James Whitcomb Riley}

Illustration of a Kingfisher

Birds and Nature {1913-1914]
Birds and Nature {1913-1914]

The king fisher

" O'er the river's brink on a summer's day,

Where lingering the shadows love to play,

On an overhanging branch sits he

And waits and watches patiently;

Until with with his ever restless eye

He sees a silvery fish swim by.

Then darting into the rivers flow,

Like an arrow from a bow,

With a daring dash and splash of spray

He seizes hold of his finny prey;

And flings a wild laugh to the skies

As he mounts above with the shining prize"

{ unknown author}

" like us , for fish, she sails the sea,

And plunging, shows us where to find 'em

Yo ho, my hearts! lets seek the deep,

Ply every oar, and cheerily wish her,

While the slow bounding net we sweep,

God bless the fish-bank and the fisher"

{ author unknown}

The Heron

" Grotesque and tall he stands erect,

Where the reed-ripple swirls and gleams;

Grave meloncholy, circumspect,

A hermit of the streams"

{unkown author}

" Where the water grass grows ever green,

On damp cool flats by gentle stream;

still as ghost and sad mien,

With half closes eye the heron dreams"

{ by Maurice Thompson}


Familiar wild birds { 1883}
Familiar wild birds { 1883}


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    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi B, I have no doubt that you will find inspiration which always leads to you producing your beautiful poetry. Best wishes to you.Dal.

    • Joy56 profile image


      5 years ago

      thankyou for sharing ....... i love the shape and beauty of birds, and the different types, we can learn so much from the words of these poets. inspiring.... thanks so much

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi DonnaDM, nice to meet you. Thank you for your kind comments they are appreciated. Best wishes to you.

      Hi aviannovoice, thank you for coming by again, your visits are always welcomed. The plates are excellent and I have collected them for many years now. You are so right about the poetry being as apt today as the day the words were produced, many of them during the 1800's. They will always be immortal to those that love and appreciate the wildlife that shares the planet with us. Best wishes to you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Having observed many of these birds, the beauty of this is that each poem could have been written just yesterday. The birds have not changed a bit, only how we live our lives. Thanks again for including this lovely material, and the gorgeous plates. If only we could still engrave as we once did...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very nice. Well-written. Love the words. Just in time for Spring.


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