descriptors

15 Ways to Describe Birds

For the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. This one’s on how to describe birds.

A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).

Generalbird descriptions

  1. The owl rose softly from the track, carrying the shining snake into the trees
  2. Eating snake without troubling to kill it
  3. watched the birds chirping and hopping across the tree limb
  4. chinking of the tinker bird
  5. see-saw creaking of the coqui francolin
  6. the lake birds, crying as they swooped low over the water
  7. birds serenaded the dawn
  8. squirrel chattered shrilly
  9. jays rasped in the morning and a chickaree
  10. wistful bird calls of the African night died one by one
  11. dawn scream of a fish eagle
  12. tinny notes of a trumpeter hornbill
  13. nasal, jeering squawk of a hadada ibis
  14. in a dead tree perched a motley selection of large birds
  15. On broad deltas of white sand, numerous water birds flew back and forth about their business.

Click for the complete list of 69 writer’s themed descriptions.

More bird-related collections:

How to Describe Nature

How to Describe a Landscape

How to Describe an African Landscape


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for Summer, 2017. Click to follow its progress.

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51 thoughts on “15 Ways to Describe Birds

  1. Pingback: 30 Ways to Describe Animals | WordDreams...

  2. Interesting and timely for me. Don’t know if it is to do with the process of aging, but I have increasingly become more conscious of the presence and variety of birds around us. There is an amazing variety one can experience even on terrace of an apartment in a big city.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yesterday, as walked up the path to the house, a bald eagle soared overhead. We see them, from time to time, as they fish in the swampy areas of Victoria Creek. Your post made me want to write birds into my current work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post dear Jacqui. Very useful to me!
    I like the point which states: “picture nouns and action verbs”… I was thinking that in the case of the gerund there would seem to be a juxtaposition between “pictures” and “actions” and the gerund could work in both cases (Preceded by the verb to be and its conjugations, when it works as action)…
    Wishing you the best. Happy week ahead! 😀 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jacqui – there are wonderful descriptions out there … and these add to them … an evocative cry of the fish eagle – as I think of Botswana and the Okavango Swamps … memories! Great idea .. cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

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