Tag Archives: birds

Poem 80: When birds begin to sing

When birds begin to sing
I know with joy that spring is near.
Somehow, this time of year,
the birds join up in pairs and build
nests, lay eggs in song-filled
days, feed, are never stilled lest
the fledglings leave the nest too soon.

Fresh things are everywhere!
Flowers bloom! Fruit forms! The air – it cries
new life! And butterflies!
And bees! Yet here, in my old, spent
winter of discontent
I must not not forget to turn
the page, the page, the page.

Listen to the poem read aloud HERE!

(Based on the Vietnamese Luc Bat).

1273. Tit birds

Tits come in all colours and sizes.

Fire-capped tit Cephalopyrus flammiceps
Yellow-browed tit, Sylviparus modestus
Sultan tit, Melanochlora sultanea
Black-breasted tit, Periparus rufonuchalis
Rufous-vented tit, Periparus rubidiventris
Coal tit, Periparus ater
Yellow-bellied tit, Pardaliparus venustulus
Elegant tit, Pardaliparus elegans
Palawan tit, Pardaliparus amabilis
European crested tit, Lophophanes cristatus
Grey crested tit, Lophophanes dichrous
Bridled titmouse, Baeolophus wollweberi
Oak titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
Juniper titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor
Black-crested titmouse, Baeolophus atricristatus
Varied tit, Sittiparus varia
Owston’s tit, Sittiparus owstoni
Iriomote tit, Sittiparus olivaceus
Chestnut-bellied tit, Sittiparus castaneoventris
White-fronted tit, Sittiparus semilarvatus
White-browed tit, Poecile superciliosus
Sombre tit, Poecile lugubris
Père David’s tit, Poecile davidi
Marsh tit, Poecile palustris
Caspian tit, Poecile hyrcanus
Black-bibbed tit, Poecile hypermelaenus
Willow tit, Poecile montanus
Sichuan tit Poecile weigoldicus
Carolina chickadee, Poecile carolinensis
Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
Mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli
Mexican chickadee, Poecile sclateri
Grey-headed chickadee, Poecile cinctus
Boreal chickadee, Poecile hudsonicus
Chestnut-backed chickadee, Poecile rufescens
African blue tit, Cyanistes teneriffae
Eurasian blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus
Azure tit, Cyanistes cyanus
Ground tit, Pseudopodoces humilis
Great tit, Parus major
Japanese tit, Parus minor
Cinereous tit, Parus cinereus
Green-backed tit, Parus monticolus
White-naped tit, Machlolophus nuchalis
Yellow tit, Machlolophus holsti
Himalayan black-lored tit, Machlolophus xanthogenys
Indian black-lored tit, Machlolophus aplonotus
Yellow-cheeked tit, Machlolophus spilonotus
White-shouldered black tit, Melaniparus guineensis
White-winged black tit, Melaniparus leucomelas
Southern black tit, Melaniparus niger
Carp’s tit, Melaniparus carpi
White-bellied tit, Melaniparus albiventris
White-backed black tit, Melaniparus leuconotus
Dusky tit, Melaniparus funereus
Rufous-bellied tit, Melaniparus rufiventris
Cinnamon-breasted tit, Melaniparus pallidiventris
Red-throated tit, Melaniparus fringillinus
Stripe-breasted tit, Melaniparus fasciiventer
Acacia tit or Somali Tit, Melaniparus thruppi
Miombo tit, Melaniparus griseiventris
Ashy tit, Melaniparus cinerascens
Grey tit, Melaniparus afer


cyanus Yellow-browed Melaniparus Melaniparus crested black-lored chickadee Yellow modestus Carp’s cinctus black-lored Chestnut-backed Cyanistes Parus tit Owston’s Melanochlora Poecile monticolus Bridled inornatus black tit Pardaliparus Parus tit albiventris Periparus Melaniparus tit flammiceps tit Poecile Poecile tit funereus bicolor Black-breasted Sittiparus Sittiparus venustulus David’s Melaniparus Sombre Tufted black Baeolophus tit chickadee hudsonicus tit cinereus Poecile titmouse tit minor Lophophanes Melaniparus tit Melaniparus cristatus White-browed tit Oak thruppi Mexican black Dusky Black-crested tit Melaniparus tit Periparus Caspian Tit European Somali afer Machlolophus tit Pardaliparus varia tit Lophophanes tit blue tit Poecile tit gambeli hyrcanus chickadee Grey carolinensis tit chickadee Machlolophus tit Sylviparus titmouse Sultan Melaniparus Machlolophus tit Acacia tit Indian holsti ridgwayi Pardaliparus Grey Rufous-bellied Carolina elegans Varied tit spilonotus Poecile Melaniparus dichrous Coal tit chickadee Poecile Melaniparus Black-capped fasciiventer Baeolophus tit tit Cyanistes crested semilarvatus African Stripe-breasted tit Poecile fringillinus tit chickadee Machlolophus tit Baeolophus tit tit Ground tit tit Japanese Fire-capped davidi White-naped amabilis blue Baeolophus tit Melaniparus Machlolophus Rufous-vented Poecile Parus leuconotus Melaniparus tit griseiventris castaneoventris tit superciliosus rufonuchalis Père Sittiparus olivaceus tit Poecile chickadee Elegant tit Iriomote caeruleus Periparus tit Himalayan Yellow-cheeked Parus rufiventris Mountain titmouse White-backed tit Pseudopodoces leucomelas rufescens owstoni Melaniparus White-fronted Black-bibbed rubidiventris tit sclateri aplonotus Southern tit lugubris montanus Chestnut-bellied Poecile nuchalis tit Poecile hypermelaenus major tit ater Palawan carpi xanthogenys Poecile White-shouldered Marsh humilis Poecile tit atricapillus Sittiparus Grey-headed Cinnamon-breasted tit palustris Melaniparus tit titmouse Baeolophus tit weigoldicus tit Yellow-bellied Cephalopyrus Ashy Green-backed White-winged sultanea Juniper guineensis Red-throated Willow niger Eurasian Melaniparus tit Boreal White-bellied tit cinerascens Great or Sittiparus Cinereous Poecile Azure titmouse Cyanistes tit teneriffae wollweberi black atricristatus pallidiventris Miombo Sichuan

Which is what happens when you get your tits in a tangle.

1229. Paranoia overcome

Avis was paranoid, not about spiders, oh no! Not about centipedes, oh no! Not about bugs, or birds, or even terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, oh no!

Avis was paranoid about tadpoles. If those little slimy eyeballs with a tail could grow legs, what else could they do? Grow claws? Tentacles? Great gnashing teeth?

And the fact that they grew into land-hopping creatures, would they jump out of their pond and leap into her bedroom at night? Avis shut her bedroom window and drew the curtains.

And then the inevitable happened, for this is a story is it not? Avis overcame her paranoia when she kissed a frog and turned into a reptile herself. They married and lived happily ever after.

She and her husband produced a bunch of sprogs, and the sprogs lived happily ever after too. One of them was able to transmogrify into a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc when it was called for, although eventually it was devoured by a hungry sibling.

Poem 55: I cannot love the sky


I cannot love the sky
until I know the scientific names for all the clouds.
Look! how dramatic is Cumulonimbus!

I cannot love the garden
until I know the scientific names for all the flowers.
Oh! such lovely Lobularia maritima!

I cannot love the song
until I know the scientific names for all the birds.
Hark! to the rapture of that Turdus philomelos!

I cannot love reflections in the water
until I’ve checked for giardia,
those anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum Sarcomastigophora.

I cannot love you
until I have dissected your opinions
tested your resolve
verified your good faith
and checked that you don’t have a Daucus carota stuffed up your Sphincter ani externus
like some overcharged know-all who

…cannot love the sky

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 33: Take flight

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal, and this is the last one for the time being!)

Godwits wade, and in late summer light, take flight.
Gulls on beaches, crowds in black and white, take flight.

Old owls wake at dusk and opening wide each eye
(Stealthy phantom hunters of the night) take flight.

Nectar-feeding bellbirds in white blossom trees,
Hearing gravel footsteps near, take fright, take flight.

Raptors rip apart a captured careless hare;
Falcon, eagle, vulture, hawk and kite, take flight.

Ducks waddle in a hapless clumsy manner,
But unmindful of their shuffling plight, take flight.

Dodos without wings were stuck upon the ground;
Bruce’s blogging friends, with visions bright, take flight.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

996. Birds


George lived on his own with only the one broken marriage behind him. He thought he shouldn’t live the rest of his life on his own; he needed to find a companion.

He’d always been mildly interested in bird watching (the feathered sort), so he joined the local Bird Watching Society in the hope of furthering his interest and also of finding a lady of interest.

And find her, he did! Eadlin Aislabie was so knowledgeable about birds; where to see the rarest; how to photograph them; where and how they nested… She was an ornithological encyclopaedia. George was spellbound. He was captured! Enraptured! Entranced! Within weeks they were married and living in the same house.

That was a mistake. It drove him nuts. She wouldn’t stop talking about the bloody things.

Listen the story being read HERE!