In her 1912 book Bird Children, Elizabeth Gordon in her foreword says about birds:
Birds are only another expression of God’s love, we are told that not even a sparrow shall fall to the ground without the notice of the Father.
Birds are poetry come to life and set to music. If you have stood at the edge of a forest at sundown and heard the birds singing their good-night songs, heard the sleepy little notes grow fainter and fainter until the silence came, – then when dusk has deepened, you have heard the night birds begin their plaintive songs, you must realize what a different place our beautiful world would be without birds.
Even in great cities we have always some birds. The saucy little sparrow, who comes so boldly begging crumbs at your window, likes the cities best.
Only very thoughtless people, or those who do not understand, would harm or frighten a bird.
The vintage Bird Children written by Elizabeth Gordon and illustrated by M.T.Ross is a visual treat across the ages.
Gordon has chronicled 84 types of birds with simple verse.
“Honk-Honk, Honk-honk,”old Snow Goose said,
“I think tonight we’ll go to bed
A hundred miles due south from here-
The snow is on the way, I fear.”
Of the Orchard Oriole, the tiniest species of icterid blackbird she writes:
Oriole, flashing wings of flame,
In the spring like sunshine came,
Hung his nest away up high
So his babes could see the sky
The beautiful illustrations make the book interesting and endearing. The book is a great guide to bird identification without numbing little brains with too many facts.
Cardinal, Snowy Heron, Kingfisher, Brown Thrasher, Goldfinch, Catbird, Purple Martin, Redstart, Screecher Owl, Ibis, storm Petrel, Loon, Nighthawk, Barn Swallow, Jenny Wren and Lyre bird are some of the feathered wonders covered in this book.
Birds are so entrenched in our minds as marvels that combine beauty and grace. I can only agree with Charles Lindbergh – he of the solo non-stop flight from New York to Paris – when he says “If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”
Get your own copy of the Bird Children here.