Birds Quotations

 

I heard a night-warbler, wood thrush, kingfisher, tweezer-bird or parti-colored warbler, and a nighthawk.—The Maine Woods
I long for wildness, a nature which I cannot put my foot through, woods where the wood thrush forever sings, where the hours are early morning ones, and there is dew on the grass, and the day is forever unproved, where I might have a fertile unknown for a soil about me.—Journal, 22 June 1853
I would rather save one of these hawks than have a hundred hens and chickens. It is worth more to see them soar, especially now that they are so rare in the landscape. It is easy to buy eggs, but not to buy hen-hawks. My neighbors would not hesitate to shoot the last pair of hen-hawks in the town to save a few of their chickens! But such economy is narrow and grovelling. It is unnecessarily to sacrifice the greater value to the less. I would rather never taste chickens’ meat nor hens’ eggs than never to see a hawk sailing through the upper air again. This sight is worth incomparably more than a chicken soup or a boiled egg. So we exterminate the deer and substitute the hog.—Journal, 13 June 1853
I would thus from time to time take advice of the birds.—Journal, 12 May 1857
In Boston yesterday an ornithologist said significantly, “If you held the bird in your hand—”; but I would rather hold it in my affections.—Journal, 10 May 1854
In this bank, above the clay, I counted in the summer, two hundred holes of the Bank Swallow within a space six rods long, and there were at least one thousand old birds within three times that distance, twittering over the surf.—Cape Cod
Instead of the white lily, which requires mud, or the common sweet flag, the blue flag (Iris versicolor) grows thinly in the pure water, rising from the stony bottom all around the shore, where it is visited by hummingbirds in June . . .—Walden
It is chiefly the spring birds that I hear at this hour, and in each dawn the spring is thus revived.—Journal, 4 July 1852
On foot, however, we continued up along the bank, feeling our way with a stick through the showery and foggy day, and climbing over the slippery logs in our path with as much pleasure and buoyancy as in brightest sunshine; scenting the fragrance of the pines and the wet clay under our feet, and cheered by the tones of invisible waterfalls; with visions of toadstools, and wandering frogs, and festoons of moss hanging from the spruce trees, and thrushes flitting silent under the leaves . . .—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
One early thrush gave me a note or two as I drove along the woodland path.—Walden
All quotation categories