Birds have a special place in literature: the lyric power of songbirds has made poets look to them for inspiration, and their flight capacity has been associated with the soaring of the poet’s imagination. As a class of animals, birds are especially apparent since there is hardly a place in the world where there are no avian species to be found, and as such typical features of our environment, birds occur prominently in literature. In an age of decreasing biodiversity, however, their familiar presence is under threat. The essays collected here study the bird motif in poetry and fiction (including the graphic and filmic media) from the late eighteenth century through the Victorian age and modernism to the twenty-first century. Moving from the bird figures of Romanticism and the reception of Romantic aesthetics on to revisionist, ecocritical takes on human conceptualizations of the natural world, the studies assembled here reveal something of the varied life of birds in literature.