“Sunbirds and Cashmere Spheres”

Pluvialis has another superb essay up.

Here, she is describing Bearded “tits” (which are not tits):

“Those pictures fail to show how glamorous these small birds are. They look like they’re made of cashmere. Very very expensive cashmere. And are wearing long, black velvet evening gloves. Their tiny waxen beaks resemble the heads of all-weather matches, and set in the thumb-smear of sooty kohl are strange, pale eyes that catch the light oddly as they clamber among the reeds.

“And they clamber in fantastic ways. They’re built for a world of verticals. Their legs are long, and black and glint like obsidian — and their feet are huge. Huge, cartoon bird feet. I’m watching these little cashmere balls bounce up and down in the reeds, and see that quite often, a bird hops from one reed stem to two, grabbing one stalk in each foot, and sit there happily doing the splits while it picks insects from a reedstem.”

Why is she not in the New Yorker?

More bird stuff from me soon…

4 thoughts on ““Sunbirds and Cashmere Spheres””

  1. Argh, I know, I know, they’re babblers, not tits. We’re supposed to call them Bearded Reedlings now, but force of habit…ahem. 🙂 Thanks for the nice words! Pluvialis

  2. I was being zoologically pedantic– call’em Bearded tits myself! “Reedlings” is just too twee; “real” babblers look like New World thrashers (Mimidae)…

    They look unique to me.


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