The Birds of Shakespeare

Did you know that William Shakespeare included many different references to birds in his writing? In fact, according to one blog site, Shakespeare mentions at least 45 different species in his works. Now I’m going to trust this authority and not go and read every word that Shakespeare wrote in order to check out this fact.

Here is the full list. By clicking on the species name you will go to the article on that species with full references to where that species is mentioned in Shakespeare’s work.

The Birds of Shakespeare
by Sir Archibald Geikie

BlackbirdBuntingBuzzardChoughCock (Rooster)CormorantCrowCuckoo

Dive-dapperDove and PigeonDuck (Mallard)EagleFalcon and Sparrowhawk – Finch

GooseHedge Sparrow (Dunnock)House MartinJackdawJayKiteLapwingLark


PheasantQuailRavenRobin (Redbreast)SnipeSparrowStarlingSwallowSwan


After looking at those references you may want to wander over to Trevor’s Writing, my blog about writing, books and blogging. You may even want to stay long enough to read some of my poetry and short fiction. Many of my haiku poems are about birds.



2 Responses to “The Birds of Shakespeare”

  1. Elena says:

    Hello! Hoping for some help here! I am desperately hunting for a quote from one of Shakespear’s plays having to do with birds at Christmas. It is something about “They say the birds sing all night…” presumeably on Christmas Eve. This is a horrible, rough paraphrase; I have no idea which play it’s in; I am at a standstill here! I ran across it in a novel and I can’t even remember exactly whic one. I am singing in a Christmas concert and would love to use this quote. Any ideas?

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi Elena,

    Thanks for your email. The quote comes from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Act 1 Scene 1.

    “It faded on the crowing of the cock.
    Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
    Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
    And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
    The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
    No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
    So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.”

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