“The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier was published in 1952 in her short story collection The Apple Tree. Many of the stories in this collection pit man against nature, and “The Birds” is a particularly terrifying iteration on that theme. It tells the story of the suddenly unnatural and violent behavior of birds in a small coastal town in England. Du Maurier’s bleak winter setting and the frequent mentions of time build a sense of dread and suspense. The setting and tone of the story attracted the attention of director Alfred Hitchcock, whose 1963 movie The Birds was inspired by du Maurier’s story.


Read our full plot summary of “The Birds.”


See a complete list of the characters in “The Birds” and in-depth analyses of Nat Hocken and Nat’s Wife.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in “The Birds.”


Find the quotes from “The Birds” you need to support your essay or refresh your memory.

Deeper Study

Enhance your understanding of “The Birds” by learning more about Daphne du Maurier and historical context related to post-World War II uncertainties in the United Kingdom.