class of vertebrates
Birds are theropod dinosaurs characterized primarily by feathers, forelimbs modified as wings, and toothless beaks.
- The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
- Charles William Beebe, The Bird: Its Form and Function (1906).
- Birds of a feather will gather together.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section I. Memb. 1, Subsect. 2.
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part I, Chapter IV.
- You must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff.
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part I, Chapter IV.
- Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Chapter LXXIV.
- For birds the goal is simple—to secure a territory, to win a mate, to contribute the only lasting legacy of their brief lives—the passing on of genes to the next generation.
- Miyoko Chu, Songbird Journeys (2006), ISBN 0-8027-1518-4, p. 93
- Females looking for the best mate can gauge their suitors based on their plumage. When females prefer brighter males, they leave a double legacy to their offspring. Sons inheriting the genes of their fathers will have colorful plumage, too; daughters may inherit their mothers’ liking for colorful mates.
- Miyoko Chu, Songbird Journeys (2006), ISBN 0-8027-1518-4, p. 95
- Traditionally birds were viewed as a model of monogamy. Before the availability of molecular techniques to analyze genetic relationships, to the best of any ornithologist’s knowledge, some 93 percent of taxonomic songbird families were monogamous, with just one male and one female attending each nest. However, genetic studies since the 1980s have turned that estimate upside down. As of 2002, only 14 percent of songbirds surveyed using DNA have proved to be truly monogamous. For example, among nests of reed buntings, an Old World species, 86 percent of broods contained at least one chick not sired by the male attending the nest! On average among “monogamous” birds, 19 percent of broods include at least one offspring who has a different father than its nest mates.
- Miyoko Chu, Songbird Journeys (2006), ISBN 0-8027-1518-4, p. 98
- 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 for ever sings he—
"I love my Love, and my Love loves me!"
- Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou its melancholy voice,
And with that boding cry
Along the waves dost thou fly?
Oh! rather, bird, with me
Through this fair land rejoice!
- Richard Henry Dana, The Little Beach Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 57.
- Bird on the horizon, sittin' on a fence
He's singin' his song for me at his own expense
And I'm just like that bird, oh, oh
Singin' just for you
- Bob Dylan, "You're a Big Girl Now", from Blood on the Tracks (1975)
- Mayr became a mentor for many promising young men with an interest in birds. He urged them to pick a bird, to follow and study it, to learn the secrets of its breeding life, its winter habits, to take in small details that no one else knew because no one else had ever watched so closely. Mayr argued against a stream of ornithologists who hoped to make the science entirely academic, feeling that serious amateurs could make valuable contributions to the field of ornithology if they watched birds seriously and well.
- Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (2001), Chapter 5, “Cormorant Problem” (p. 60)
- Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
- Jesus, Matthew 6:26, KJV.
- I am the mistress, so let my birds assemble for me where the sheaves are gathered!
I am Nance, so let my birds assemble for me where the sheaves are gathered!
Let the birds of heaven and earth stand at my service!
Let every bird without a name bring offerings!
- The bird is my neighbour, a whimsical fellow and dim;
There is in the lake a nobility falling on him.
The bird is a noble, he turns to the sky for a theme,
And the ripples are thoughts coming out to the edge of a dream.
The bird is both ancient and excellent, sober and wise,
But he never could spend all the love that is sent for his eyes.
He bleats no instruction, he is not an arrogant drummer;
His gown is simplicity - blue as the smoke of the summer.
How patient he is as he puts out his wings for the blue!
His eyes are as old as the twilight, and calm as the dew.
The bird is my neighbour, he leaves not a claim for a sigh,
He moves as the guest of the sunlight - he roams in the sky.
The bird is a noble, he turns to the sky for a theme,
And the ripples are thoughts coming out to the edge of a dream.
- Shaw Neilson, The Crane is My Neighbor (1934).
- In all of nature, there is no greater spectacle than the fall migration of birds.
- Robert Sargent, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (1999), Chapter 6, (ISBN 0-8117-2688-6), p. 71
- A little bird told me.
- William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II (1597–8). Last lines. See also Mahomet's pigeon, the "pious lie", Life of Mahomet in Library of Useful Knowledge, note p. 19. Aristophanes, Aves. See Robinson's Antiquities, Greek, Book III, Chapter XV. ad init. Ecclesiastes. X. 20.
- The worlds most frequent flyers don't have platinum status, free upgrades, or even passports. Every hour, millions of these undocumented immigrants pour across major political borders, and nobody thinks of building walls to keep them out. It would be impossible to anyway. Birds are true global citizens, free to come and go as they please.
- Noah Strycker, Birding Without Borders (2017), ISBN 978-0-544-55814-4, p. 3
- Birds teach us that borders are just lines drawn on a map—a lesson we can all take to heart.
- Noah Strycker, Birding Without Borders (2017), ISBN 978-0-544-55814-4, p. 5
- There are people who love birds so much they free them. There are others who love them so much they cage them.
- Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun, Volume 3: Caldé of the Long Sun (1994), Volume 3, Ch. 4.
Birds as dinosaursEdit
- I do not believe birds deserve to be put in a taxonomic class separate from dinosaurs.
- Robert T. Bakker, "Dinosaur Renaissance", Scientific American 232, no. 4 (April 1975), 58—78
- The dinosaurs are not extinct. The colorful and successful diversity of the living birds is a continuing expression of basic dinosaur biology.
- Robert T. Bakker, "Dinosaur Renaissance", Scientific American 232, no. 4 (April 1975), 58—78
- The more that we learn about these animals the more we find that there is basically no difference between birds and their closely related dinosaur ancestors like velociraptor. Both have wishbones, brooded their nests, possess hollow bones, and were covered in feathers. If animals like velociraptor were alive today our first impression would be that they were just very unusual looking birds.
- Mark Norell, as quoted in American Museum of Natural History "Velociraptor had feathers" ScienceDaily (September 20, 2007)
- If not for the long tail, one might mistake a theropod for a big, toothy, marauding bird in the dark. That theropods are birdlike is logical, since birds are their closest living relatives. Remember that next time you eat a drumstick or scramble some eggs.
- Gregory Scott Paul (1988), Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, Simon and Schuster, p. 22
- When it was assumed that birds did not evolve from dinosaurs, it was correspondingly presumed that their flight evolved among climbers that first glided and then developed powered flight. This has the advantage that we know that arboreal animals can evolve powered flight with the aid of gravity, as per bats. When it was realized that birds descended from deinonychosaurs, many researchers switched to the hypothesis that running dinosaurs learned to fly from the ground up. This has the disadvantage that it is not certain whether it is practical for tetrapod flight to evolve among ground runners working against gravity.
The characteristics of birds indicate that they evolved from dinosaurs that had first evolved as bipedal runners, and then evolved into long armed climbers. If the ancestors of birds had been entirely arboreal, then they should be semiquadrupedal forms whose sprawling legs were integrated into the main airfoil, like bats. That birds are bipeds whose erect legs are separate from the wings indicates that their ancestors evolved to run.
- Gregory Scott Paul (2010) The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press, p. 52
- Imagine, if you will, a world filled with billions of dinosaurs. A world where they can be found in thousands of shapes, sizes, colours and classes in every habitable pocket of the planet. Imagine them from the desert dunes of the Sahara to the frozen rim of the Antarctic Circle - and from the balmy islands of the South Pacific to the high flanks of the Himalayas. The thing is, you don't have to imagine very hard. In fact, wherever you live, you can probably step outside and look up into the trees and skies to find them. For the dinosaurs are the birds and they are all around you. Dinosaurs didn't die out when an asteroid hit the earth 66 million years ago. Everything you were told as a child was wrong.
- John Pickrell (2014) Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds, Columbia University Press, p. xv
- From nesting, brooding and sex, to metabolism, development and even the diseases that afflicted them, many of the traits found in birds today were inherited from the dinosaurs. The boundary between dinosaurs and birds has become utterly blurred.
- John Pickrell (2014) Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds, Columbia University Press, p. xvii
- Every feature that is known to exist in every bird universally accepted as such is also found on dinosaurs: four-chambered heart, fused caudal vertebrae, gastroliths, even the avian respiratory system have all been found on fossil theropods, especially dromaeosaurs and maniraptors. You can distinguish birds among dinosaurs, but it is no longer possible to distinguish birds from dinosaurs.
- Aron Ra, "Geerup's Terrible Lizard Classification", YouTube (July 28, 2009)
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 69-70.
- Dame Nature's minstrels.
- Gavin Douglas, Morning in May.
- A bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
- Ecclesiastes. X. 20.
- To warm their little loves the birds complain.
- Thomas Gray, Sonnet on the Death of Richard West.
- A feather in hand is better than a bird in the air.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.
- John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter XI.
- The nightingale has a lyre of gold,
The lark's is a clarion call,
And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute,
But I love him best of all.
For his song is all the joy of life,
And we in the mad spring weather,
We two have listened till he sang
Our hearts and lips together.
- W. E. Henley, Echoes.
- When the swallows homeward fly,
When the roses scattered lie,
When from neither hill or dale,
Chants the silvery nightingale:
In these words my bleeding heart
Would to thee its grief impart;
When I thus thy image lose
Can I, ah! can I, e'er know repose?
- Karl Herrlossohn, When the Swallows Homeward Fly.
- I was always a lover of soft-winged things.
- Victor Hugo, I Was Always a Lover.
- Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno.
- A rare bird upon the earth, and exceedingly like a black swan.
- Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), VI. 165.
- Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?
Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught
The dialect they speak, where melodies
Alone are the interpreters of thought?
Whose household words are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863-1874), The Poet's Tale, The Birds of Killingworth.
- That which prevents disagreeable flies from feeding on your repast, was once the proud tail of a splendid bird.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIV, Epistle 67.
- Birdes of a feather will flocke togither.
- John Minsheu (1599).
- Every bird that upwards swings
Bears the Cross upon its wings.
- Ascribed to John Mason Neale.
- He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.
- Plutarch, Of Garrulity.
- Hear how the birds, on ev'ry blooming spray,
With joyous musick wake the dawning day!
- Alexander Pope, Pastorals, Spring, line 23.
- That byrd ys nat honest
That fylythe hys owne nest.
- John Skelton, Poems against Garnesche, III.
- The bird
That glads the night had cheer'd the listening groves with sweet complainings.
- William Somervile, The Chase.
Sea birds, generallyEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 694.
- How joyously the young sea-mew
Lay dreaming on the waters blue,
Whereon our little bark had thrown
A little shade, the only one;
But shadows ever man pursue.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Sea-Mew.
- Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
- William Cullen Bryant, To a Water Fowl.
- Up and down! Up and down!
From the base of the wave to the billow's crown;
And amidst the flashing and feathery foam
The Stormy Petrel finds a home,—
A home, if such a place may be,
For her who lives on the wide, wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeketh her rocky lair
To warm her young and to teach them spring
At once o'er the waves on their stormy wing!
- Barry Cornwall, The Stormy Petrel.
- Yr wylan deg ar lanw dioer
Unlliw ag eiry neu wenlloer,
Dilwch yw dy degwch di,
Darn fel haul, dyrnfol, heli.
- O sea-bird, beautiful upon the tides,
White as the moon is when the night abides,
Or snow untouched, whose dustless splendour glows
Bright as a sunbeam and whose white wing throws
A glove of challenge on the salt sea-flood.
- Dafydd ap Gwilym, "Yr Wylan" (To the Sea-gull), line 1; translation from Robert Gurney (ed. and trans.) Bardic Heritage (London: Chatto & Windus, 1969) p. 130.
- O sea-bird, beautiful upon the tides,
- Between two seas the sea-bird's wing makes halt,
Wind-weary; while with lifting head he waits
For breath to reinspire him from the gates
That open still toward sunrise on the vault
High-domed of morning.
- Algernon Charles Swinburne, Songs of the Spring Tides, introductory lines to Birthday Ode to Victor Hugo.
- And a good south wind sprung up behind,
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!
"God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends that plague thee thus!—
Why look'st thou so?"—"With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798; 1817), Part I, Stanza 18, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19.
- Great albatross!—the meanest birds
Spring up and flit away,
While thou must toil to gain a flight,
And spread those pinions grey;
But when they once are fairly poised,
Far o'er each chirping thing
Thou sailest wide to other lands,
E'en sleeping on the wing.
- Charles G. Leland, Perseverando, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19.
Bird of ParadiseEdit
- Those golden birds that, in the spice-time, drop
About the gardens, drunk with that sweet food
Whose scent hath lur'd them o'er the summer flood;
And those that under Araby's soft sun
Build their high nests of budding cinnamon.
- Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh, The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 70.
- Thou should'st be carolling thy Maker's praise,
Poor bird! now fetter'd, and here set to draw,
With graceless toil of beak and added claw,
The meagre food that scarce thy want allays!
And this—to gratify the gloating gaze
Of fools, who value Nature not a straw,
But know to prize the infraction of her law
And hard perversion of her creatures' ways!
Thee the wild woods await, in leaves attired,
Where notes of liquid utterance should engage
Thy bill, that now with pain scant forage earns.
- Julian Fane, Poems, Second Edition, with Additional Poems, To a Canary Bird; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
- Sing away, ay, sing away,
Merry little bird
Always gayest of the gay,
Though a woodland roundelay
You ne'er sung nor heard;
Though your life from youth to age
Passes in a narrow cage.
- Dinah Craik, The Canary in his Cage; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
- Bird of the amber beak,
Bird of the golden wing!
Thy dower is thy carolling;
Thou hast not far to seek
Thy bread, nor needest wine
To make thy utterance divine;
Thou art canopied and clothed
And unto Song betrothed.
- Edmund Clarence Stedman, The Songster, Stanza 2; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
- Cormorants are hated. In one popular anti-cormorant treatise, the bird is blamed for its very existence: “A war is being waged between the interests of sport fishermen and a predatory bird that has no local natural enemy. The bird’s sole purpose is to reproduce and eat fish.” Of course, obtaining food and reproducing are two primary goals of any species, including our own.
- Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (2001), Chapter 5
- The voice of the duck is the glory of the marshes.
- How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.
- Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1936)
- Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John’s, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it.
- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan (1904), Ch. 1 : Peter Breaks Through.
- The francolin's voice is the glory of the fields.
- The first time I saw one in Africa I had much the same feeling as Mr. Malik was having now. It was one of happy elation. There is something about the shape of the bird, with its long curved beak and clown’s crest, and the colour of the bird, with its bright russet plumage speckled with bands of black and white—there is even some thing about the very name of the bird—it just cheers you up. Forget the bluebird of happiness, give me a hoopoe every time.
- Nicholas Drayson, A Guide to the Birds of East Africa (2008), Chapter 21, ISBN 978-0-547-24795-3, pp. 117-118
- The Jackdaw sat in the Cardinal's chair!
Bishop and Abbot and Prior were there,
Many a monk and many a friar,
Many a knight and many a squire,
With a great many more of lesser degree,—
In sooth a goodly company;
And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.
Never, I ween,
Was a prouder seen,
Read of in books or dreamt of in dreams,
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims.
- R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Legends, The Jackdaw of Rheims; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 402.
- An old miser kept a tame jackdaw, that used to steal pieces of money, and hide them in a hole, which a cat observing, asked, "Why he would hoard up those round shining things that he could make no use of?" "Why," said the jackdaw, "my master has a whole chestfull, and makes no more use of them than I do."
- Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 402.
- What, is the jay more precious than the lark, Because his feathers are more beautiful?
- William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (c. 1593), Act IV, Scene 3, line 177.
- Changed to a lapwing by th' avenging god,
He made the barren waste his lone abode,
And oft on soaring pinions hover'd o'er
The lofty palace then his own no more.
- James Beattie, Vergil, Pastoral 6; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
- The false lapwynge, full of trecherye.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Parlement of Fowles, line 47; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
- Amid thy desert-walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 44; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
- For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to near our conference.
- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act III, scene 1, line 25; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
- "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
“Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Pt. 1, ch. 10.
- Then from the neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o'er the water,
Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part II, Stanza 2, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.
- Winged mimic of the woods! thou motley fool!
Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe?
Thine ever-ready notes of ridicule
Pursue thy fellows still with jest and jibe:
Wit, sophist, songster, Yorick of thy tribe;
Thou sportive satirist of Nature's school;
To thee the palm of scoffing we ascribe,
Arch-mocker and mad abbot of misrule!
- Robert Wilde, D.D., Sonnet, To the Mocking-Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.
- Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own, and raptures swell the note.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle III, line 33.
- Perch'd on the cedar's topmost bough,
And gay with gilded wings,
Perchance the patron of his vow,
Some artless linnet sings.
- William Shenstone, Valentine's Day; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 460.
- I do sing because I must,
And pipe but as the linnets sing.
- Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849), Part XXI, Stanza 6.
- Linnets * * * sit
On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock.
- James Thomson, The Seasons (1726-30), Autumn, line 974.
- Hail to thee, far above the rest
In joy of voice and pinion!
Thou, linnet! in thy green array,
Presiding spirit here to-day,
Dost lead the revels of the May;
And this is thy dominion.
- William Wordsworth, The Green Linnet; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 460.
- Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
- Ah, nut-brown partridges! Ah, brilliant pheasants!
And ah, ye poachers!—'Tis no sport for peasants.
- Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto XIII, Stanza 75, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 580.
- Or have you mark'd a partridge quake,
Viewing the towering falcon nigh?
She cuddles low behind the brake:
Nor would she stay; nor dares she fly.
- Matthew Prior, The Dove, Stanza 14, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 580.
- Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest,
But may imagine how the bird was dead,
Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
- William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II (c. 1590-91), Act III, scene 2, line 191.
- Like as a feareful partridge, that is fledd
From the sharpe hauke which her attacked neare,
And falls to ground to seeke for succor theare,
Whereas the hungry spaniells she does spye,
With greedy jawes her ready for to teare.
- Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto VIII, Stanza 33.
- Fesaunt excedeth all fowles in sweetnesse and holsomnesse, and is equall to capon in nourishynge.
- Sir T. Elyot, The Castle of Helth, Chapter VIII; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.
- The fesant hens of Colchis, which have two ears as it were consisting of feathers, which they will set up and lay down as they list.
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book X, Chapter XLVIII, Holland's translation; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.
- See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
- Alexander Pope, Windsor Forest (1713), line 111; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.
- In jalousie I rede eek thou hym bynde
And thou shalt make him couche as doeth a quaille.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Clerke's Tale, line 13,541, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 652.
- The song-birds leave us at the summer's close,
Only the empty nests are left behind.
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Harvest Moon, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 652.
- An honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails.
- William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (c. 1602), Act V, Scene 1, line 58.
- Those Rooks, dear, from morning till night,
They seem to do nothing but quarrel and fight,
And wrangle and jangle, and plunder.
- Dinah Craik, Thirty Years, The Blackbird and the Rooks; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Invite the rook who high amid the boughs,
In early spring, his airy city builds,
And ceaseless caws amusive.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 756.
- Where in venerable rows
Widely waving oaks enclose
The moat of yonder antique hall,
Swarm the rooks with clamorous call;
And, to the toils of nature true,
Wreath their capacious nests anew.
- Thomas Warton, Ode X; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sand-piper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry,
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sand-piper and I.
- Celia Thaxter, The Sand-Piper, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 690.
- Tell me not of joy: there's none
Now my little sparrow's gone;
He, just as you,
Would toy and woo,
He would chirp and flatter me,
He would hang the wing awhile,
Till at length he saw me smile,
Lord! how sullen he would be!
- William Cartwright, Lesbia and the Sparrow; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740.
- The sparrows chirped as if they still were proud
Their race in Holy Writ should mentioned be.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863-1874), The Poet's Tale, The Birds of Killingworth, Stanza 2.
- The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That it had it head bit off by it young.
- William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act I, scene 4, line 235.
- Behold, within the leafy shade,
Those bright blue eggs together laid!
On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.
- William Wordsworth, The Sparrow's Nest; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740.
- An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
- Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush (1900), from Poems of the Past and Present.
- Much that is good and all that is evil has gathered itself up into the Western Gull. He is rather the handsomest of the blue-mantled Laridae, for the depth of color in the mantle, in sharp contrast with the snowy plumage of back and breast, gives him an appearance of sturdiness and quality which is not easily dispelled by subsequent knowledge of the black heart within. As a scavanger, the Western Gull is impeccable. Wielding the besom of hunger, he and his kind sweep the beaches clean and purge the water-front of all pollution. But a scavanger is not necessarily a good citizen. Call him a ghoul, rather, for the Western Gull is cruel of beak and bottomless of maw. Pity, with him, is a thing unknown; and when one of their own comrades dies, these feathered jackals fall upon him without compunction, a veritable Leichnamveranderungsgebrauchsgesellschaft. If he thus mistreats his own kind, be assured that this gull asks only two questions of any other living thing: First, "Am I hungry?" (Ans., "Yes.") Second, "Can I get away with it?" (Ans., "I'll try.")
- William Leon Dawson, Birds of California, 1923
- The Western Gull is a common gull from the Pacific coast of the United States.
- Could the whip-poor-will or the cat of the glen/Look into my eyes and be bold?
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point (published in The Liberty Bell, 1847-48), lines 55-56.
- The moan of the whip-poor-will from the hillside; the boding cry of the tree-toad, that harbinger of storm; the dreary hooting of the screech-owl.
- Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 868.
- Where deep and misty shadows float
In forest's depths is heard thy note.
Like a lost spirit, earthbound still,
Art thou, mysterious whip-poor-will.
- Marie Le Baron, The Whip-Poor-Will; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 868.
- And then the wren gan scippen and to daunce.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Court of Love, line 1,372; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
- I took the wren's nest;—
Heaven forgive me!
Its merry architects so small
Had scarcely finished their wee hall,
That, empty still, and neat and fair,
Hung idly in the summer air.
- Dinah Craik, The Wren's Nest; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
- For the poor wren.
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), Act IV, scene 2, line 9; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
- Thus the fable tells us, that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back.
- Tatler, No. 224; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
- Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little wren's
In snugness may compare.
- William Wordsworth, A Wren's Nest.