Instagram | @olssonstenman_photography

The Bearded Reedling Is The Roundest Bird We Ever Did See

Amy Pilkington 17 Apr 2020

In the world of cutesy animal names there is often some confusion over categorization. For example, when is a doggo also a pupper, does that disqualify them from being a pupperino?

When it comes to the avian world, the main question is thus: "When does a birb become a borb?" At what stage of roundness does a bird's orb-like appearance merit a name change?

(Future linguists are going to be very confused by this era...)

I think we can all agree that the bearded reedling qualifies as a borb, though.

Instagram | @bird_drangsland

I'm no expert in linguistics, but I do have an honorary degree in Cuteology and I think that gives me enough clout to make such a decree. (Please don't ruin this for me with logic.)

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They also go by the name bearded bushtits, which is a name I will not be using here for obvious reasons.

Instagram | @gers.energy

Also, they aren't related to the tit family of birds anyway. It's just a nickname they ended up with due to a similarity in appearance.

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Though the term "bearded" is also a pretty loose description.

Instagram | @wallmika

The males have black patches on their face, but notably, not on their chins. You know, where a beard is usually found. This is closer to a mustache.

Their lady friends are equally round, but more of a solid pale orange shade.

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Bearded reedlings are common throughout temperate Europe and some of Asia.

Instagram | @wallmika

They can be found in wetlands among the reeds that give them their name. Unlike many birds, they don't migrate. Their orb-like appearance is most easily seen in the winter, when they puff up their feathers for extra warmth.

h/t: eBird

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