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The White-Browed Tit-Warbler Is An Adorable Rainbow Bird With A Very Silly Name

Amy Pilkington 4 Mar 2020

English etymology is a very strange thing. Though two words can be spelled, and sound, exactly the same, they can mean different things and come from wildly different linguistic sources.

Which is to say that the birds colloquially referred to as "tits" have nothing in common with the other colloquial use of that word.

It's still funny, though.

"Tit" is just a short form of "titmouse" which itself is a mangling of the Old English "titmase."

Reddit

If it's tiny and cute and sort of sounds similar, then people are going to start shifting "mase" to "mouse." Because that is the science of cute things.

In North America, these birds are often called chickadees, for their familiar songs. Which is also a cute name, but not nearly as funny.

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So back to the subject of this particular article: the White-Browed Tit-Warbler.

Reddit | AsherGray

Isn't it an amazing ball of rainbow fluff?!

I may quibble with the name, especially how it focuses on the least prominent feature of this day-glo borb, but you can't deny that it's stunning.

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Of course, the most impressive pics are going to have perfect lighting and probably a bit of a saturation boost.

Wikimedia Commons | Imran Shah

But the colors are all real and impressive, even on a cloudy day.

They live in the boreal forests of central China and the Himalayas.

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Understandably, the males are much more colorful than the ladies they are attempting to woo.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leptopoecile_sophiae_sophiae.jpg

If you ever come across one of these vibrant birdies, you can tell whether it's male or female by looking at its underbelly.

The males have violet-blue underparts and chest, whereas the females are paler in color in these areas, as seen in the above picture.

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On a positive note, these Lisa Frank-worthy creatures aren't in danger of extinction.

Reddit

Of course, it's up to humanity to keep things that way.

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Not a lot is known about the habits of these birds, since they tend to be well-hidden in mountainous forests.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White-browed_Tit_Warbler_male_at_Panamic,_Nubra_Valley,_Ladakh,_India.jpg

But that's okay. Maybe it's better if we just leave them be and enjoy them from afar.

And giggle a hell of a lot at their name.

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