Tag Archives: bird poems

Poetry Box popUP challenge: 2 Kiwi and Ruru poems




The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi  Clare Scott, illustrated by Amy Haarhooff (Penguin Random House)


I loved this book so much I invited you to write a poem using the title – you had 48 hours.

These two little gems arrived. I am sending a copy of the book to Denzel thanks to Penguin Random House.

I am posting my June challenge tomorrow.



The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi

The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi
Take place under the old Totara tree
Ruru and Kiwi gaze at the sky so black
As they enjoy a tasty snack
Kiwi says I love being a night time bird
But daytime birds think it’s a bit absurd
Together they dance in the moonlight
That shines with the stars so bright

By Denzel  Age 8 Sandspit Road School




Ruru and Kiwi


Ruru and kiwi

Went out in the dark

On a beautiful, starry night

They took homemade wings

And a few other things

‘Coz kiwi wanted to take flight


Ruru and kiwi

Climbed a great hill

Up to the highest peak

Ruru jumped and flew fast

But in the end kiwi passed

He’d put holes in the wings with his beak!


Ruru and kiwi

Laughed themselves silly

For thinking they should be the same

Kiwi had his own skills

And Ruru feared thrills

So they shook wings, then went home again


Daniel L (Age 11, year 7, Hadlow School)



Penguin Random House page





A UK class hooks onto Poetry Box

Laura got in touch with me a few months ago because she and her class had discovered Poetry Box. I invited her to send her some poems and tell us what they did. I was so delighted that Poetry Box can stretch and inspire other places. The young poets have most definitely used their eyes and ears, as their poems sound good and are popping with juicy detail. Thank you so much for sending these in. Great job! Happy poem days across the other side of the world!

This from Laura:

The whole of Year 5 (pupils aged 9 and 10) had an hour’s session on poetry during our Go Global week.

For the session I put together a brief powerpoint explaining about you with a link to your website, and an extract from the email you sent about the possibility of their poems featuring on your blog, which made them very excited and motivated! Then there were a few photos of the Tui bird (which the children had never seen before), after which we read your poem about the bird. Following this we switched our focus to the kiwi bird: we listened to its cry, watched a short video of it moving and looked at photos of it. I also shared some key facts about it with the children – they were particularly fascinated by the size of its eggs! It was then their turn to write. Given the time constraints, I did not give them any instructions regarding form etc, although I did stipulate that the use of rhyme should not be their foremost concern. A few pupils decided to copy the structure of your tui poem.

I was really pleased with the energy and enthusiasm the pupils showed during the session. They certainly enjoyed learning about the kiwi. They also loved having the freedom to write poetry without having to follow any rules – so rare in our very crowded curriculum!


Some of the poems:


The Kiwi 

The kiwi,

the king of the bush.

As small as a netball.

As sensitive as a snake.

As fluffy as a puppy.

As protective as my mum.

Sleeps all day and parties all night.

He sings his song camouflaged in the green.

As rare as a white tiger,

As lovable as a pony.

by Bella M


The Kiwi

Kiwis have a long beak,

thin beak, white beak, pointy beak.


They have black feathers,

furry feathers, heavy feathers, fat feathers.


Noisy kiwis,

quiet kiwis, old kiwis, young kiwis,


in the New Zealand land,

wild land, hot land, forest land


in a loyal pair

nocturnal pair, Oceania pair, grand pair.

by Scott R


The Kiwi

Its beak long and thin

Its feathers soft and rare

Its squawk high and constant

The kiwi bird.


Sensitive like a cat,

Lovable like a dog

Wings without flight

Bushy like a koala

The kiwi bird.


Burrows like a rabbit

Nocturnal like a bat

Eggs like planets

Legs long and stringy

The kiwi bird.

by Bruno C



The Kiwi Bird

Kiwi, kiwi, small and brown,

Kiwi, kiwi, on the ground,

Kiwi, kiwi, camouflaged and rare,

Kiwi, kiwi, I know you’re there.


She sleeps by day and comes out at night,

and meets her mate in the moonlight,

her body is hard to see when it’s as dark as night.


She eats her food of bugs and plants

then return to her burrow to sleep.

by Lucy W

The Kiwi

The kiwi is a little bird, a tiny bird, a small bird.

He is a fat bird, a chubby bird, an enormous bird.

He is a rough bird, a feisty bird, a naughty bird.

The kiwi has a big egg, a huge egg, a fat egg.

by Scott W



Kiwi poem

Kiwi is a small, small bird,

But doesn’t live in a herd.

The kiwi has a big, brown back,

And also a trimmed tail.


The kiwi bird is very fat,

It has whiskers like a cat,

It has claws like strips of silver,

And feathers like a glowing river.

by Michael S


The Kiwi Bird

I am endangered,

I am small and round.


I can’t fly at all,

but I get around.


My whiskers are long,

my beak is sharp.


My eggs are large

but I am small.

Can’t you guess me at all?


I am squeaky and cheeky,

lovable and cute.

Still can’t guess me? One more clue:


I burrow in the ground,

You should be able to guess me now.


Fine, I will tell you.

I am a kiwi bird, get it now?

by Poppy T




My Kiwi Poem

The other birds don’t like me much

They say I have no feathers to touch.

They say I don’t sing but squawk

and that’s not really proper bird talk.


They say that I have an odd bird name

and when I am around I am a pain.

I have huge eggs that I do lay

and that’s what the other birds say.


Although the other birds don’t like me

I’m a happy bird, can’t you see?

by Lily S



At Balmoral School the words just bubbled and bubbled

Last week I had a great visit to Balmoral School. The students came up with some sizzling lines for poems when I worked with all the Year 5 and 6s in the auditorium. I did a workshop and words bubbled and bubbled. I loved them all, but here are a few of my favourite bird poems. Thanks for a super school visit.


Kiwi As

Active kiwi

hiding his rough camouflage

blending in with the bushes wobberling

through the dark

deep forest, the sharp

beak dragging along the

forest floor, the moon

shning on the kiwi

kiwi as

Ben Year 6


Black-billed Gull

Oil on snow

swoops down

glorious gliding gull

soaring, gliding, landing

pecks a bug


Piddle, paddle, looks up

at the sky

3, 2, 1


Ink-gull flies.

Noah Year 6


Blue Duckie Funny shuffle

Plips nuff

Snuffle scroog

Plip snuff


Flap flap




Splish Splosh

Night Night.

Sadie Year 5


NZ Falcon

Curved dagger beak

waiting for the

sound of tiny feet,

claws like knives

poised to strike,

floats above

watching for movement.

George Year 6


Clumsy Kereru

Shiny green,

slomsly flaps through the

forest, crashes on a



to others,

feathers shining

eyes shining,

wobbling through the air

searching for


then swooping

onto the

Ben Year 6



Ocean blue

neatly perching on the jiggered twig.

Hunting for food

in the crisp autumn leaves.

Its beak as black as

coals on fire.

Flippy flap

tweet chirp

peck pick

rustle rustle

Catrin, Year 6

Debra’s pukeko poem

Debra wrote this poem during my workshop at Papatoetoe Intermediate. She is in Year 8. She has some eye-catching similies.

Deep sea blue
Black like the night sky
Cherry lipstick red
Marching fearlessly
Tail flicking with every step
Long chocolate brown stick legs
Eyes like mini orange basketballs
Stretched out, limping, bouncy walk
Grazing, picking, poking

Tahlia’s bird poem and my visit to Papatoetoe Intermediate

Yesterday I spent the day at Papatoetoe Intermediate with some Year 8 students and it was a delightful day. I worked with 32 keen writers in an interactive session together in the morning. Then we broke into two groups, and I ran two workshops. It was really great idea on the part of Chris, the librarian.

I was really taken with this poem by Tahlia. It has a vivid word choice and a terrific rhythm.


Feathered body
Flickering black night tail
Blue like sea
Screeching through night
and day

The winner and finalists for the Bird-Poem Competition

9781869798383  9781869798383  9781869798383

Congratulations! Here are the finalists for the bird-poem competition. It was very hard picking these as there were some outstanding entries. Some poets thought about the fact that the way we live on the planet is putting our precious birds at risk. There were poems with excellent detail (making the birds come alive on the screen). There were poems with excellent rhythm. Some of the very best poems were simple poems that made a picture grow. I thought Paramata School came up with some terrific bird poems, with outstanding language and images.

All these poems deserve a prize, but I only have the one book to give away for this. It is Joy Cowley’s picture book, Manukura: The White Kiwi, illustrated by Bruce Potter and published by Random House (2012). Thank you Random House for the prize book!


The winning poem is by Stephanie. I loved the way she took an issue (a hazard for birds) and used good detail to show us an example of it. Her poem is simple but very moving. I like the slender lines with their shiny words and the fresh similies. Congratulations!


White Heron Trapped in an Oil Slick

She is a thin branch

nearly snapping.

Her spiky feathers

pierce the moonlight.


Her beak a needle

hanging looose from a quilt.


Her eyes the sky

turns black


as her memory

is forgotten.

Stephanie L Year 8 aged 12, Kirkwood Intermediate School, Christchurch



The Heron’s Catch

Bright eyes, an open beak

Swimming fish, a trickling creak

Wild mind, ready to snatch

Splashing water, the heron’s catch

Holly B Year 6 Paramata School



Pied Stilt

On long, red legs,

the Pied Stilt sways;

a cat jumps out

and ends her days.


On long, red legs

the Pied Stilt sways,

although his mate

has been dead for days.


Small brown eggs

their parent snatched,

pooor brown eggs

will not be hatched.

Benjamin C Year 6 Paramata School



Nature of Porirua

Eels splash in the pure streams

Nibbling at the soggy algae

A swallow

Returning to his humble nest

Presenting his mate with a gift

On a Judgeford bridge


Rushes sway

Around the glassy film of the Pauatahanui inlet

In which the shags dive

Oyster Catchers

Hammers of the seashore

Bring this place alive


Two azure wings

Feathers of retreating waves

Hill separated by stretching farmland

Swans settle on the surface

Curving their elegant necks

On the Porirua harbour


Waddling shelducks

A strong love bond

Mallards provide company

Pukeko sway

In time with the raupo

On Porirua harbour


Shore Plovers

Rarities of Mana Island

Make a trek to Plimmerton

As the terns

Gracefully flitting

Plunge into the water


This is the nature of my city Porirua

Ben C Year 6 Paramata School



Beyond My Control

At Caswell Sound 1946

I watch from the balcony

the olive-brown ground.


The South Island piopio

threatened, endangered,

suffering, dying.


Cats and rats killing

for fun

with no remorse.


Their kinds’ population

decreases by

the day.


But I didn’t do anything

It was beyond

my control.


At Caswell Sound 1947

I watch the last piopio die

their kind is now extinct


And I didn’t help them,

it was beyond

my control.

Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch




My wings beat heavily like a drum

I spy a rat scuttling under a bush

I pounce like a hungry cat

but miss, a delicious meal

will be mine.

Mary S aged 10, Year 6 Fendalton Open-Air School



Bird Poem

Like a love song, the magpie sings from high up in her macrocarpa tree. The tree sways gently in the calm breeze. Her vivid white feathers flash against the harsh glare of the sun. Eyes like black beads, beak like pliers. Talons reaching out to grab her prey, so close, so close. Blood drumming in her ears. The field mouse freezes as the great bird swoops over her like a silent, deathly shadow.


The magpie.

Ella S Year 8, aged 12, Ohaupo School



Bird Poem

The best part of spring

is when birds come out to sing.

Black or white,

dark or light,

birds come out to sing.

Small or big,

they peck and dig,

when birds come out to sing.

To girls and boys

they cause such joy,

the birds that come to sing.


Sophie P, Year 7, aged 11 St Kentigern Girl’s School


Moa (A poem for Massey Wildlife Centre)

The Moa, unlike most others, was not exceedingly bright,

The Moa, unlike most others, gave up the advantage of flight.


The Moa, unlike most others, took on a tremendous height,

The Moa, unlike most others, was a five on the scale of might.


The Moa, unlike most others, was hunted and soon extinct,

The Moa, unlike most others, was stuffed and made distinct.


The Moa, I like above others, I think they should celebrate,

The Moa, I like above all others, because Moa are absolutely great.

Helena M, aged 11, Year 7, Palmerston North Intermediate School


His sticklike beak, pale and creamy (from Cornwall Park District School — bird poems with little gold nuggets)

Recently I visited the wonderful Cornwall Park District School. What a treat to work with all the Year 5 and 6s in the hall — sharing poems and making up poems and talking about poetry. I thought this was a tip top school to visit with children joining in with gusto and glasses of water on hand for me (and jellybeans!).

I also did a writing workshop with a group of year 5 and 6 students and their bird poems blew me away. There are nuggets of gold in these poems. Great detail makes their birds come alive on the page. Excellent verbs give their poems movement. And all the poems I picked have standout lines that I want to say over and over. I will let you go on the hunt for these delicious poetry treats. Feel free to write a commwent for the young poets and make their day.

The bird poems:



It stomps through the swamp

holding its head up high

Blue and white and black feathers

rustling in the wind.

Red beak snap snap snap at a spider

flaps its wings and takes off

soaring like an aeroplane

legs dangling like limp tree branches

after a storm.


By Jenny




Their tawny wings soar through the night

with wide yellow eyes and a hooked nose

beating their wings they take flight

but as they spot mice they slow.

They sweep up their prey

making sure it doesn’t fall

then they vanish before day

leaving nothing but their call.


By Sammy




Proud, majestic

stands as tall as a king,

nibbling berries with its bullet beak.

Slow swooshing wing beats in the air

emerald green plumage tumbles down its chest.

It flaps over the tall, thick forest

like a broken hang glider.

Ku ku ku ku, it softly cries,



By Emily




Tail feathers spread like a fan

Long, slender, smooth

Beak shaped like a thorn from a rose

Little, sharp, fuzzy

flapping its little wings like a butterfly,

flitter, flutter, flitter.


By Abby



Yellow Crowned parakeets

Multi coloured

gliding, swooping, clawing, biting

combed straight feathers

green with blue-tipped wings

tails like elastic being stretched

hooked beaks like an eagle’s

swoosh, swoosh sing the wings,

nearly extinct.


By Nick




Evading, twirling

grasping berries and insects

gliding peacefully over the lush green trees

beak shimmering in the sunlight.

It’s white eyebrow twitching in the wind

feeding the chirping chicks

grasping worms from the soil

fluttering from branch to branch

diving playfully after the insects,

the stitchbird.


By Robbie




Enveloped in a glossy blue coat

soaring through the bush

blissfully screeching,

red-apple beak

greedily plucking for worms,

a contented upkeep.


By Natalie





flapping its wings heavily

crashing through the undergrowth clumsily

a smooth, curved beak

vibrant plumage,

wood pigeon.


Laying eggs

chicks hatching

guzzling pigeon milk

offspring fledgling

wood pigeons.


By Max



The Hungry, Hungry Kiwi

Scouring the night

searching, searching

with beady eyes,

a low drumming call

as he wanders the night

his soft ruffles rustling,

his sticklike beak, pale and creamy,

scraping the ground for food.


By Marley

Little fat songing bird (some imaginary bird poems!)

Back to Waitakere School today to relieve the Year 3 and 4 class again. I had a fabulous day. I really loved the stories we wrote this morning using the first sentence of a James Norcliffe novel to get started. This afternoon though it was poetry time again and the children spent an hour making up birds for our poems. It was fun and the classroom was humming with ideas. I loved them all but here are a few of my favourites:

The Indiana Bird

Indigo bird

dark green bird

black bird

dark blue bird,

flutters along the sky.

Blue eyes

golden beak

sawing wings

golden legs,

a glorious bird of beauty.

Little fat bird

songing bird,

a New Zealand Master.


By Natasha



Smobble Wiggle Bob

Swooping swishing

swopping wishing

brown legs

fluffy tail

big and round

blue and green

eyes are pink

beak is gold

sleeps on a leaf

tweet, tweet, tweet

special bird

perfect pecky perfect bird,



By Lydia



Strange Bird

Deep down

in the woods

in a cold possum

trap, a percakiwi

lies with its little

babies that tap.

Brown black

pink blue, the

colours of the

birds, tweti tweti

the sounds of

the percakiwi.


By Amy



Snakedrag Bird

Blue bird

black bird grey bird

big bird monster bird

yellow bird

laser eye bird.


By Matthew







It’s the strangest




gets killed by

the sun.

Its enormous

wings speed around

the place.

It hides in the dark

every day.

Grey tall


razor sharp


big red


Black hair

on top

of his


like a


beak like

a sword.


By Delton



Glen Eden Primary School poets take poems of birds… and a special prize goes to …

The Year 5 and 6 writers were on the hunt for birds so they could take a poem of them. They used their poem cameras to collect words then got writing and playing. The detail in these poems in magnificent. There are some surprising lines that make you smile with delight and some very juicy words. I love the movement of all the poems and the attention paid to the number of words on the lines. This is what fills me with poetry happiness. Congratulations young poets.

I don’t usually do this but there was one poem I particularly loved. I am running a bird-poem competition at the moment on Poetry Box, but it wouldn’t be right for Felix to enter his poem. Instead I am awarding him a Special Bird-Poem Prize and will send him a copy of my book, Flamingo Bendalingo. Congratulations Felix! Your poem swoops and darts and flashes and sings, just like a bird.


Celebrity Knight

White singlet like a knight’s armour

green, blue and red too.

Waxed and combed feathers

like a celebrity’s masked face,

has stolen a seagull’s beak,

devours fruit, flowers and leaves.

Fat and large but beautiful.

Flies like an acrobat,

glides in the blustery wind,

before it lands, it dives.

It hops and leaps and prances.

Its feet like rope hands,

grabs branches and berries,

you hear whooshing wings.

This bird should be proud.


by Felix




Tail like a peacock’s tail

Brown, white hint of green

Swoosh go the pointy wings

Eagle’s claws gripped on branches

Ready to snap at flying insects

fantail light as the wind

Beak like black rice.


by Jamie



The Kiwi

Sniffing and twitching as he

plunges his beak in the soil

gentle beast, feet are like ginger

chestnut brown feathers

nocturnal bird, gleaming eyes.

Feet patting through the leaves.


by Madina



Night Bird

Feathery, gentle, strong beak

small, quiet in the forest.

Can’t fly but moves fast.

Hides in the grown ferns

eats worms and bugs,

sleeping throughout the day

rustling through the dark leaves.


by Casey


My Bird

My bird is brown

it is attractive

it’s curious

it’s quick and slick

it’s mice-like

it likes to twitch

and is also shy.


by Sultan




Lovely, browny, caramel

black and grey as well

lovely, silky, soft and shiny

twitching, darting, flying, zooming,

that’s the fantail.


by Ruby



Squerky, Strong Creature

Green brown

white and blue

big mouth,

coming after you

with its sharp

ninja talons

knife-like beak

small but strong.


by Boston

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