Birds of Britannia

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by Thoma th’ Heathen


The WREN is a tiny insect-eating bird with a loud voic(e.) The cheerful trills of Wrens are extraordinarily varied and melodious.

The SWALLOW is easily recognized by its forked tail. Swallows catch insects in flight, and have squeaky, twittering songs.

The WARBLER is an exceptional singer, whose extensive songs combine the best qualities of Wrens and Swallows.

The NUTHATCH climbs down trees headfirst, searching for insects in the bark. It sings a repetitive series of notes with a nasal tone quality.

The agile CHICKADEE has a buzzy “chick-a-dee-dee” call, from which its name is derived. Its song is a series of whistled notes.

The THRUSH is a brown bird with a spotted breast, which eats worms and snails, and has a beautiful singing voice. Thrushes use a stone as an anvil to smash the shells of snails.

The little NIGHTINGALE is also known for its beautiful song, which it sings even at night.

The STARLING is a small dark bird with a yellow bill an(d) a squeaky, high-pitched song. Starlings can mimic the sounds of other birds.

The SKYLARK sings a series of high-pitched melodius trills in flight.

The FINCH is a small seed-eating bird with a conical beak and a musical, warbling song.

The CROSSBILL (sic) is a kind of Finch with a strange crossed bill, which it uses to extract seeds from pine cones.

The CANARY is a kind of Finch that I often kept as a pet. Miners would often take Canaries underground with them, to warn them of the presence of hazardous vapors in the air.

The SPARROW weaves a nest of grass, and has an unmusical chirp for voice.

The TOWHEE is a kind of Sparrow that continually reminds listeners to drink their tea.

The SHRIKE is a gray bird with a hooked bill. Shrikes have the habit of impaling their prey on thorns.

The WOODPECKER has a pointed beak that is suitable for pecking at wood to get at the insects inside.

The KINGFISHER dives for fish, which it catches with its long, pointed beak.

The TERN migrates over great distances, from one end of Britannia to the other each year. Terns dive from the air to catch fish.

The PLOVER is (a) bird that distracts predators by pretending to have a broken wing.

The LAPWING is a kind of Plover that has a long black crest.

The HAWK is a predator that feeds o(n) small birds, mice, squirrels, and other small animals. Small hawks are known as Kites.

The DOVE is a seed-eating bird with a peaceful reputation. Doves have a low-pitched cooing song.

The PARROT is (a) brightly colored bird with a hooked bill, favored as a companion by pirates(.) Parrots can be taught to imitate the human voice.

The CUCKOO is a devious bird that lays eggs in the nests of Warblers and other small birds. Cuckoos have the uncanny ability to keep track of time, singing once at the beginning of each hour.

The ROADRUNNER is an unusual bird with a long tail, which runs swiftly along the ground hunting for lizards and snakes.

The SWIFT is a very agile bird that spends nearly its entire life in the air. With their mouths wide open, Swifts capture insects in mid-flight.

The HUMMINGBIRD is a cross between a Swift and a Fairy. These tiny, brightly colored birds hover magically near flowers, and live on the nectar they provide.

The OWL is a reputedly wise bird that is active at night, unlike most birds. Owls have excellent night vision and low-pitched hooting calls. Their wings are silent in flight.

The GOATSUCKER is a strange owl-like bird that is thought to live on the milk of goats. These mysterious birds make jarring sounds at night, for which reason they are also called Nightjars.

The DUCK is a bird that swims more than it flies, and has a nasal voice that is described best as a “quack”.

The SWAN is a kind of long-necked Duck that is all white. Swans are usually voiceless, but they are said to have an extraordinarily beautiful song.


Last modified: May 14, 2011

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