16/2/17 – Clarissa Explains… Birds

Do you know one of the things I love most about living in the UK? True story: the birds. I’ve always loved watching birds–must be a byproduct of all the giant bucket of sunflower seeds readily available by the door out to our woodsy porch growing up. Squirrels begging at the door for cracked pecans was the norm, as were the blue jays, cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice coming and going at the feeders, artfully avoiding the cats sneaking about.

Scotland obviously has its own smattering of birds that make an appearance in the gardens and green spaces of Edinburgh. And… I LOVE THEM. Every time I spot a new feathery friend I am impressed. They’re just absurdly adorable.

Maybe it’s because, more often than not, they don’t have a neck. Instead, they’re just round balls of feathers with a beak slapped on. It’s GREAT.

For example:

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Here we have the cases of the Robins. Left, obviously, is the common American robin, who hilariously is also known as Turdus migratorius. Right is what is known as the European robin, or Erithacus rubecula.

Come on guys, there’s no contest here. Due to the cheeky European robin’s anatomy (or lack of it) and charming personality–these guys are insanely curious as well as people-friendly, and can be found practically underfoot looting for a crumb or just to see what exactly it is you’re up to–they win the adorable contest, hands-down. They also hang around all winter here, which makes them the perfect contestant to slap onto Christmas loot such as mugs, cards, and ornaments. Brits really love their little robins, and though it took me a while to understand why, now obviously I’m 100% a cheeky robin fan-girl.

The UK obviously has a smattering of other birds that I’ve had the pleasure of clapping eyes on, although some are still on the list. I’ve put up some bird feeders in my tiny wee garden and have had the pleasure of seeing some new faces as of the past day or so.

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Here we have a new favorite of mine, the long-tailed tit, or Aegithalos caudatus. Also missing its neck. What gives, UK birds?? Who took your necks away from you??

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Another frequent visitor is the blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, who often flit around hollering bossily to let the other berbs know they’re in the area, I guess. I still think they’re charming though.

Here’s some other UK birdies. Wood pigeons in particular I find hilarious. Maybe because they seem so big, dumb, and clumsy–they’re massive, at least they seem that way cause they’re often poofed up. Still charming in their own right.

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Anyway I did tear myself away from my little birds and leave the flat once whilst the sun was shining. I headed down to Princes Street on a tip from my gal Emma that she’d procured some half-price chocolates at M&S. Lo and behold, a treasure was finally had.

It wasn’t a bad-looking evening either, at least for the few minutes the sun was shining. Too bad I looked like a twat carrying my giant camera about like the forever-tourist that I am. (Worth it!)

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