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The Whiskered Treeswift’s Brows And Beard Makes It Look Like A Wise Wizard

Amy Pilkington 10 Sep 2020

You know what not enough birds have? Facial hair — or facial feathers, I suppose.

Sure, some have lovely, impressive crests, but those are more akin to hats or crowns. They don't lend an air of gravitas to the bird like a full beard or bushy brows might.

It's pretty telling that when a bird species does have some notable facial hair-like features, they are often named after it.

That naming convention holds true for the whiskered treeswift.

Instagram | @littlekritter318

Treeswifts differ from common swifts in that they can perch in trees, and the whiskered treeswift is the smallest of the species.

They are found in Southwest Asia, and prefer to call damp forests home.

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Both males and females look very similar, with the only obvious difference being the color of their ear coverts.

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For males, these patches beside the eyes are a dark rusty chestnut color. The ear coverts for females are a dark blue-green.

Both sexes have the very prominent white whiskers and brows.

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The oddest thing about these birds is their nesting habits.

Instagram | @ade_hall_nature_photography

Instead of building a structurally-sound nest hidden in the canopy, whiskered treeswifts build a very tiny, flimsy nest balanced right on a branch.

Since its too small and fragile to actually sit on, the bird perches on the branch and lets their belly feathers spread over the nest.

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The flimsy nest is barely big enough to hold the single egg the mom lays each season.

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Really, the nest is just there to help the egg balance on the branch than to act as an actual bed for it.

It seems like a silly way to go about things, but there is currently no worry in regards to the species' survival in the wild.

h/t: Oiseaux Birds, eBird

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