8 Literary Facts About Birds in Books

Birds have appeared in literature for centuries. How many of these references do you recognize?

1. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was published in July 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize as the best work of fiction for that year.

2. In Act 3, Scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the title characters gently argue over where they hear a nightingale or a lark.

3. A parrot named Poll was Robinson Crusoe’s companion after he wrecked his ship on a remote island in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The author was 60 years old when he wrote the novel.

4. John Keats’ eight-stanza poem Ode to a Nightingale is about the bird that “Singest of summer in full-throated ease.”

5. Lewis Carroll introduced four birds in Chapter 2 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: a duck, a dodo, a lory and an eaglet. The birds are believed to represent different people, with the dodo as the author.

6. In The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, the bird speaks one word: “Nevermore.”

7. The folktale Chicken Little has six main characters. Five are birds: Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey. The sixth is Foxy Loxy.

8. The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Ugly Duckling was originally published on Nov. 11, 1843, in Copenhagen, Denmark.