More animal higgledy piggledy

The higgledy piggledy poems return… (The first higgledy piggledy post is here.) Once again I have not quite followed all the rules.

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Parental care

Tentacled vermiform

mother caecilian

what simple kindness your

offspring must lack:

Un-altruistically

cannibalistically

eating their mama’s own

skin for a snack!

Yellow-striped caecilian. Photo by Kerry Matz*

Yellow-striped caecilian. Photo by Kerry Matz*

Caecilians are a kind of amphibian. Some caecilians feed their babies by growing a special layer of skin that the babies then eat. (Hey, is it really any weirder than what we mammals do to feed our babies?) All caecilians have little tentacles on their faces. See, goofy poetry is so educational!

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Winter Olympics: Animal Edition

Don’t get me wrong, the winter Olympics is fun and all, but isn’t it just a little bit small-minded to limit ourselves to human competitors? Here are some videos illustrating how great this athletic competition could be if we made it just a bit more inclusive (and added some new events):

Event: Team Vertical Iceberg Jump. Competitor: penguin

Event: Snow Diving. Competitor: red fox.

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Scary search term adventures

While it seems like it might be logical for people to find my blog after searching something like “pictures of juncos” or “how do birds fly?”, internet users (and search engines) are thinking a bit more creatively. So once again I, your humble servant, will attempt to give you what you really want from this blog by responding to the actual search terms that have led you here.

This time, though, you guys are kinda scaring me.

human babies

Wait, no. Do not come to this site if you want information on human babies. I don’t know anything about human babies! Search engines, don’t send people who search “human babies” to a bird research blog! And now I’ve written “human babies” four times here so that probably won’t help…

Cute, yes, but crucially NOT A HUMAN BABY.

Cute, yes, but crucially NOT A HUMAN BABY.

floating skeletons

If these are a problem, put up some strong netting around your house, work area, etc. to catch the floating skeletons. Grab a ladder and pull the bones out of the net at least once a week so it doesn’t get clogged up.

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Small nest? Big babies? No problem!

Nesting moms, are you having trouble fitting all your babies into one nest? Your troubles are over! We’ve got photos to inspire you to fit all those babies into one nest in an elegant, orderly way. A successful breeding season doesn’t have to mean clutter anymore!

These eggs are a mess. Look at that one shoved under the others. Don't let this be your nest!

These eggs are a mess. Look at that one shoved under the others. Don’t let this be your nest!

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Higgledy piggledy, zoologistically

Recently my mom sent me this link to a collection of “higgledy piggledy” (or “double dactyl”) poems. These poems are a bit like limericks, in that they are short, catchy, and usually silly. Since several of the poems were science-y, I thought I’d write some zoologically themed ones of my own. (I didn’t follow the form perfectly, but I did my best.)

Also: fear not, this does not mark the beginning of this becoming Katie’s Nature Poetry Blog. Tough Little Birds’ regular scientific programming will resume shortly.

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Chrysopelea

High-soaring leglessness

floating through canopy:

fast transportation with

no way to brake.

Aerodynamically

he’s a mere glider but

anyway we say he’s

“flying,” this snake.

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Animal April Fools

Oh no! I broke my wing! I’m so injured and defenseless and tasty!

Look how broken my wing is! Are you looking? Ooh, it stings!(Photo by Glenn Loos-Austin)

Look how broken my wing is! Are you looking? Ooh, it stings!
(Photo by Glenn Loos-Austin)

Ooh better follow me as I flop brokenly over this way!(Photo by Ken Slade)

Ooh better follow me as I flop brokenly over this way!
(Photo by Ken Slade)

Ouch ouch! What a flailing broken mess of deliciousness I am being over here!(Photo by Jon Rutlen)

Ouch ouch! What a flailing broken mess of deliciousness I am being over here!
(Photo by Jon Rutlen)

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Awkward duck candids

The other day, I thought I’d try out a new camera lens by taking some photos of ducks. It turned out that the ducks were all having the duck version of a bad hair day. If the ducks were on facebook, they would immediately demand that I untag them from these pictures.

Female Mallard: lovely coy pose, but blinked.

Female Mallard: lovely coy pose, but you blinked.

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Search term adventures!

Sometimes people type words into Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other nonsense words masquerading as search engines. Sometimes those words lead them to my blog. Here are some search terms that I think would make sense for leading people to Tough Little Birds: “animal behavior,” “dark eyed junco,” “scary birds,” “bird science blog,” etc.

Here is what people are actually searching to end up at my blog: “is a gecko a bird.”

So, as I blog to please you, dear readers, I will now attempt to respond to some of the actual search terms that have led people to TLB.

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