In the latest issue of the American Birding Association's journal Birding, there's a long (and unfortunately rather dry) article about birds in American poetry, starting with Anne Bradstreet in 1659 and going right through until the present day.
It ends with a list of 11 recommended bird poems, namely:
Who Called That Pied-Billed Grebe A Podilymbus Podiceps Podiceps? - Ogden Nash
The Peace Of Wild Things - Wendell Berry (it features Wood Ducks)
Buteo Regalis - N Scott Momaday (features Ferruginous Hawks)
Shorebird Watching - Amy Clampitt (Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover, Golden Plover and Turnstone)
On A 3.5oz Lesser Yellowlegs, Departed Boston August 28, Shot Martinique September 3 - Eamon Grennan
Barn Owl - Ted Kooser
To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain - James Wright (Elf Owl)
Twilight: After Haying - Jane Kenyon (Whip-poor-will)
The Author Of American Ornithology Sketches A Bird - David Wagoner (Ivory-Billed Woodpecker)
The Need Of Being Versed In Country Things - Robert Frost (Eastern Phoebe)
Shrike Tree - Lucia Perillo (Loggerhead Shrike and Northern Shrike)
That list told me two things. Firstly, that I know far too little American poetry to be able to make an informed judgement on whether that really is a representative selection. Second, that as I suspected, American birders tend to have better names for their species.
But it also set me thinking of a top ten British (and Irish) bird poems. I've already got a few, and I'll post my selection in the near future, but all suggestions are welcome...