8 Children’s Spring Poems about Birds presented below are children’s classic poems by popular poets: Tennyson, Coleridge, Keats, Dickinson, Rossetti, Wordsworth, and a couple by “Anonymous.”

Pre-Reading Activities to Consider

Before reading the following delightful 8 Children’s Spring Poems about Birds with your children, grandchildren, or students, you may want to include activities to introduce the birds and poetic devices used by these classic poets in the following 8 Children’s Spring Poems about Birds.

Birds as Symbols

Birds are often presented in poetry for children simply as symbols of spring, joy, love, and freedom. More sophisticated poems use birds as symbols with deeper meanings, specific to the individual bird.

Cuckoo – There are more sophisticated level symbolism attached to the cuckoo, but in The Cuckoo as written below, this flighty bird is a free spirit because she doesn’t build her own nest. The Cuckoo is truly a transient bird, using the nest of another, not having a home of her own. The Cuckoo arrives with Spring and leaves before the undesirable Winter arrives – guided by the change of seasons (changes in life).

Sparrow – The sparrow often symbolizes happiness because of its joyful song. The tiny sparrow is a reminder that good things come in small packages, and the loudest voice is not always the most powerful. Sparrows  can also symbolize undying love, commitment to one person, sacrifice and bonding.

Dove – For centuries, the dove has been a symbol of peace, love, and belief in all possibilities.

Linnet – The male linnet is most attractive in the spring and summer. He changes from a drab little fellow into a colorful handsome bird accented with two crimson-red patches on both sides of his breast and some on his head. The linnet also has a song enjoyed by those close by. The linnet’s song turned out to be a sad fate for the little bird…for they were captured and caged for the pleasure of those who chose to own them. The linnet is referenced in a song in the movie, Sweeney Todd.

Thrush – A thrush is regarded as an elegant little song bird with a happy voice; themes often associated with the thrush are love and devotion.

Lark and Skylark - Larks are known for their melodious singing. What makes them stand out from other song birds, is that they sing while they are flying. They also prefer to live hidden in fields, rather than high up in a nests.

Duck – A duck, as in the poem, Dame Duck, can symbolize responsibilities and resourcefulness. The vision of a mother duck is often of her leading a brood of disciplined ducklings waddling one by one in a single row behind her.

Poetic Devices Used in 8 Children’s Spring Poems about Birds

  • Apostrophe - a figure of speech in which a person not present is addressed
  • Atmosphere/Mood - is the prevailing feeling that is created in a story or poem
  • Personification – lifelike or human quality given to an object or animal
  • Metaphor - A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance; something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol (All definitions are from Dictionary.com.)
  • Imagery - the formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things, or ofsuch images collectively
  • Diction - style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words
  • Point-of-View - the position of the narrator in relation to the story, as indicated by the narrator’s outlook from which the events are depicted and by the attitude toward the characters

8 Children’s Spring Poems about Birds by Classic Poets

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #1

What Does Little Birdie Say?
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
“Let me fly,” says little birdie,
“Mother, let me fly away.”
“Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.”
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
“Let me rise and fly away.”
“Baby sleep, a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.”
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #2

Answer to a Child’s Question
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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 forever sings he,
“I love my Love, and my Love loves me.”

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #3

by John Keats

I had a dove, and the sweet dove died;
And I have thought it died of grieving:
O, what could it grieve for? its feet were tied
With a single thread of my own hand’s weaving;
Sweet little red feet, why should you die–

Why should you leave me, sweet bird, why?
You lived alone in the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss’d you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #4

A Bird Came Down the Walk
by Emily Dickinson

A bird came down the walk;
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #5

The Skylark
by Christina Rossetti

The earth was green, the sky was blue:
I saw and heard one sunny morn
A skylark hang between the two,
A singing speck above the corn.

A stage below, in gay accord,
White butterflies danced on the wing.
And still the singing skylark soared,
And silent sank, and soared to sing.

The cornfield stretched a tender green
To right and left beside my walks;
I knew he had a nest unseen
Somewhere among the million stalks.

And as I paused to hear his song,
While swift the sunny moments slid.
Perhaps his mate sat listening long,
And listened longer than I did.

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #6

The Cuckoo
by Anonymous

The cuckoo is a pretty bird,
She singeth as she flies;
She bringeth us good tidings,
She telleth us no lies;
She sucketh all sweet flowers
To keep her throttle cleat,
And every time she singeth
The summer draweth near.

The cuckoo is a giddy bird,
No other is as she,
That flits across the meadow,
That sings in every tree.
A nest she never buildeth,
A vagrant she doth roam;
Her music is but tearful–
“I nowhere have a home.”

The cuckoo is a witty bird,
Arriving with the spring.
When summer suns are waning,
She spreadeth wide her wing.
She flies th’ approaching winter,
She hates the rain and snow;
Like her, I would be singing,
And off with her I’d go!

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #7

To the Cuckoo
by William Wordsworth

O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice,
O cuckoo! shall I call the Bird,
Or but a wandering voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Through babbling only to the Vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet though art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my school-boy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.
O blessèd Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place;
That is fit home for Thee!

Children’s Spring Poems about Birds #8

Dame Duck’s Lecture on Education
by Anonymous

OLD MOTHER DUCK has hatched a brood
Of ducklings, small and callow:
Their little wings are short, their down
Is mottled gray and yellow.

There is a quiet little stream,
That runs into the moat,
Where tall green sedges spread their leaves,
And water-lilies float.

Close by the margin of the brook,
The old duck made her nest,
Of straw, and leaves, and withered grass,
And down from her own breast.

And there she sat for tour long weeks,
In rainy days and fine,
Until the ducklings all came out-
Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.

One peeped out from beneath her wing,
One scrambled on her back:
“That’s very rude,” said old Dame Duck,
“Get off! quack, quack, quack, quack!”

“Tis close,” said Dame Duck, shoving out
The egg shells with her bill,
“Besides, it never suits young ducks
To keep them sitting still.”

So, rising from her nest, she said,
“Now, children, look at me:
A well-bred duck should waddle so,
From side to side d’ye see?”

“Yes,” said the little ones, and then
She went on to explain:
“A well-bred duck turns in its toes
As I do try again.”

“Yes,” said the ducklings, waddling on:
“That’s better,” said their mother;
“But well-bred ducks walk in a row.
Straight one behind another.”

“Yes,” said the little ducks again,
All waddling in a row:
“Now to the pond,” said old Dame Duck.
Splash, splash, and in they go.

“Let me swim first,” said old Dame Duck,

“To this side, now to that;
There, snap at those great brown-winged flies,
They make young ducklings fat.

“Now, when you reach the poultry-yard,
The hen-wife, Molly Head,
Will feed you, with the other fowls,
On bran and mashed-up bread.

“The hens will peck and fight, but mind,
I hope that all of you,
Will gobble up the food as fast
As well-bred ducks should do.

“You had better get into the dish,
Unless it is too small;
In that case, I should use my foot
And overturn it all.”

The ducklings did as they were bid,
And found the plan so good,
That, from that day, the other fowls
Got hardly any food.

8 Children’s Poems about Birds Feedback

I’m always curious which poems in my posts are favorites and why. I’d love to hear from you and the children. Kids always have great answers!

Happy Spring!