When Thar Be Thorns…

Stay light and above it all.

But, if you get pricked, you’ll fly all around and make that squeaky balloon noise and that’s just fun for everyone.

Sent in by Mrs. Brinke and photographed by ajhaysom.



  1. Birds just absolutely fascinate me.

  2. Angry (slightly blorpy) bird…?

  3. I saw some of these one time—they’re about the size of a ping pong ball with feathers. I asked my brother, who works in forestry, what kind of birds they were, and he told me, “You know when you get wonton soup at a Chinese restaurant? These are what they put in the wontons.” Ever since, I’ve thought of them as “wonton birds.” I have disturbing siblings, and I worry about soup…

  4. Tina: I think that, as long as none of your siblings prepared the soup, it’s all good.

    Believe me, my siblings can FAR out-distoib your siblings!!

    Also useful here:


  6. Sounds like a normal brother to me. It’s their job to gross us out. 🙂

    I’ve never gone birding but I bet I’d love it. There’s so much beauty and diversity in the world of birds.

  7. Below is linkage to what I think might be one of the most thorough informative bird ID webpages ever in the history of, like, ever.


  8. That is really neat! Thanks for posting it.

  9. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this …
    “I’m a sweet widdle bird in a giwded cage, Tweety’s my name but I don’t know my age. I don’t have to wowey and dat is dat! I’m tafe in here from dat old putty tat! ” 😀

  10. glad u liked; it seemed pretty awesome to moi.

  11. Laurie Foss says:

    That bird is called a Bushtit! http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/bushtit/id Even its name is cute!

  12. The little toothpick legs!

  13. The cats and I go birding every day in the safety of our bedroom.

  14. this is a deep post, crazy pants. almost like you’re channeling Jack Handy 🙂

  15. ah-HAH! so I’ve just now been able to ID the giant birds I’ve been seeing in my neighborhood. fantastic!

  16. I had a realtive tell me that those delicious sweet little bread (ish…something) balls we’d find in Indian/asian/arabic/I can’t remember ’cause I was little restaurants were a bulls…dangly bits.

    I ate six more afterwards, but still…

  17. HAW

  18. Love this.

  19. I would love to know what kind of boid this is. Anyone find a match on that that Cornell website?

  20. Theresa – check out the Flickr page! http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajhaysom/6965273056/

  21. Clairdelune says:

    Me too, they fascinate my cat also but for other motives… 😀

  22. GOT IT! I think– it’s a bushtit!

  23. OR a superb fairy-wren. O_o

  24. And you’re not going to tell us what they are?!!!

  25. no worries… I didn’t recognize it as a U.S. bird, so I thought “reed warbler?” “No…” “some sort of flycatcher?” “no…” and looked and looked until I thought to check the link!!

  26. Someday I am going to open a law firm called Dickcissel & Titmouse.

  27. And THAT gets through moderation????

  28. LOL!!!

  29. oh, whoops… a pair of ginormous Great Blue Herons. Scared the bejeezus out of me and the dog on a walk the other day, and I see this grey long-necked football unfold its wings and take flight.

  30. Sounds like something out of a Dickens novel.

  31. Have you ever heard them yell? It’s awesome.

  32. falafels? like when made right are amost as nom-worthy as a puppeh labrador’s ears? 🙂

  33. No, on the Flickr page, it says it was taken in Victoria. So I’m guessing that’s a female– the male superb fairy wrens have all kinds of blue on them.

  34. Mary (the first) says:

    I had some of these one day a few weeks ago, tiny little things clinging to the outside of my window (the edge there is about 1/8″ of metal stuff). I described them to my FB friends and someone came up with busht*t as mentioned above. Yep. Little fuzzy ping pong balls with toothpick legs and SO cute!! I’ve loved them ever since.

  35. Mary (the first) says:

    forgot to mention I am in WA state, US of A.

  36. I think that’s a female fairy wren (not sure what species). (very round)

  37. You’re in good company with the bushtit though… my father has been birding for 30+ years (and he’s about to come out with a book on bird names) and bushtit was his first thought!

  38. Seconded.

  39. joools in PDX says:

    I think it’s a wren, look at the tail. Wrens have long tails that flip up.

  40. I still cannot believe that gets past the moderator.

  41. *bows *

  42. That got passed moderation HOW?

  43. joools in PDX says:

    P.S. “Submitted by Mrs. Brinke”??? Does that mean Brinke is a Mr.?? I always ASS+U+ME+d that was a first name and female… can we get some CO writer bios please?? Vital statistics, likes, dislikes, turn-ons, etc… KTHXBAI.

  44. It’s not just a BROTHER’S job to gross out their SISTERS, it’s every GUYS job to gross out all GIRLS.

  45. There is some data on some of them (not quite Playboy/ Playgirl level info, but …) up at the top of the page. Just now I’ve got about 794 projects I’m working on, so I won’t take the time to double-ck but it’s up there under either CO office or something within maybe the Glossary?? …..it prob. won’t yet have pyrit or brinke; I think that both of them (as well as Sharpy) began at CuteOverload, A.T. (After Theo) who was the human who really enjoyed putting lots of good stuff in there. It’s up there but it’s partial …in case you weren’t already hip to this particular jive.

    Grooviness to All.
    LT/ Jax/ Fla

  46. Mary, please send me about two dozen of them, C.O.D.

    Price is no object.

    If you need a first-born child, you might have to wait about nine months; but I know how to “git ‘R Dun” !!!

  47. *snerk*

    1: might we presume that you do this with los gatos, *AFTER* they have already eaten some less-tempting and less lively fudz???
    2: Como esta Senor Skippyness this week?

    Love, L

  48. IK, R??? It makes me wanna make a bird, to go on some toothpicks. I do have a box of ’em (the toothpicks, not the boids), in the kitchen ….

  49. I know — we CANNOT be trusted with an infant dog but both a bush and the other thing IN THE SAME WORD are allowed thru???

    Existentialism is beginning to seem less complicated now.

  50. Ah doan know nuttin’ bout no yallin’, but they are PHENOMENALLY beautimous to see. Even walking; they strut about like Martha Grahame (sp?) onstage.

    We are fortunate here to see quite a few varieties of herons and egrets near waterways (which are more common in Fla than in some other states). Egrets and herons are two of the concepts which help me feel a bit less annoyed with the Uberheat which attacks us here for nineteen months each summer.

    Also something which G-d hasn’t answered for me yet: how the white and blue egrets/ herons muck about in swampy yuccky algae-ish brackish salt water for their dinner…..
    AND THE EGRETS ARE SO WHITE that bleach wouldn’t make any difference in their color. It’s literally hard to process mentally that they live in that muck and they’re a brighter white than my towels have *EVER* been. They would give good competition to the antiseptic bright cleanliness of Maru’s human’s apartment.

  51. World peace and long walks on the beach!??

  52. Theresa that brings this to MY warped mind.

    Wouldn’t it be WAY WAY cool one time, if some effervescent delicate and lovely little bit of femininity (s\P?) made it to the Final Ten or the Final Five Round and was asked her objective or “turn-on’s” or whatever the PC word for that is in a Beauty and Baton-twirling Contest ….

    and she answered with something about apathy and world-weary angst and
    surrealistic annihilation??? I’m just wondering what the AUDIENCE would do with the combination of Bambi looks and delicacy and existentialist world-view.

    I told you my mind was warped; and anyway I think you prolly had already reached that assumption annyhoo. Ernie Kovacs, Monty of P , etc…..

  53. *Clutching Pearls in shock*

    Well, Firdie, I NEVER!

  54. Hey, so am I (in WA, that is). I saw these little guys, of all places, in the trees at Rainier Square on 4th Ave in Downtown Seattle. Of course, this was before the evil starlings took over.

  55. Feather varnish, Fird. (Seriously, their feathers are waterproof. That comes in handy for not getting wet and not getting gunk on their feathers)

  56. I think it’s a male superb fairy-wren in eclipse (non-breeding) plumage because of the black beak and lack of reddish lores (bald patches around eyes). It can’t be a bushtit because the throat is too pale and the beak is too pointy.
    There’s a whole family of birds named tits! (This family includes the chickadees.) How about the white-fronted tit? Stripe-breasted tit? Elegant tit? Or, my favourite, Père David’s tit?

  57. are you CERTAIN???

    *watches the pearls in concern: if they bust, I’ll be glad t’help you pick ’em all up agin* …

  58. there’s an Indian type of appetizer or snack called papadam/ papdum
    (rather similar to a crispy kind of flat tortilla, broken like the size of nacho chips) but where I’ve been that is a flat item, not a round item so otherwise I don’t know..

    (Well, and maybe Rosemary as well)


  59. Martha in Washington says:

    Doesn’t WA have some of the most wonderful birds anywhere on Earth?! I’ve been here for 19 years and still have to catch my breath everytime I see an eagle!

    PS. And yes, starlings are evil. I don’t mind (very much) when the hawks in my backyard eat one for dinner.

  60. Laurie Foss says:

    Really, it’s a Bushtit. Look it up on the Cornell All About Birds site.

  61. Blue Footed Booby says:

    I had to read that about five times before I could convince myself you typed what I read. Man, I love bird names.

  62. 😯

  63. phred's mom says:

    Our house in north Jersey is on a hill overlooking a lake.
    When water birds are migrating, they rest here. Also,
    when the water is lowered for dock repairs, we get
    ospreys, bald eagles and herons, among others.
    We can watch them from our front windows, a nice
    way to have breakfast. Lovely.

  64. phred's mom says:

    Vraiment, Fird.

  65. phred's mom says:

    Snort!!! Thanks, I needed that.

  66. phred's mom says:

    Growing up in Philly, my favoritest show was
    Ernie Kovacs. Fird, remember The Nairobi Trio?
    This was way back in the early fifties, when he
    was starting out. Then came Spike Milligan (UK),
    and Monty Python. Now, THERE was humor.
    Nothing that good out there now.
    – signed, elderly curmudgeoness.

  67. Le Sigh.

  68. *facepalm *

  69. No, Laurie Foss, look at the original Flickr page. The picture was taken in Australia, where there aren’t any bushtits. I still can’t believe I’m typing bushtits, BTW.

  70. Alice Shortcake says:

    Bluetits! Gingernuts! Spotted Dick!

    I’m allowed to say these things because I’m English!

  71. Awright. With Spike Milligan, ye’re tawkin’ to mah da’. HE LURVED him some Spike.

    And — ??? YES. YES I DO. to wit (AND — BONUS — these ackshually SEEM (visually, at least) to be within the agenda here at CO):

  72. Totally! Look at how the tail feathers just stick off the butt!! Awwww

  73. And of course . . . GREAT TITS.

  74. They have a loud, primordial screech (I imagine that’s what dinosaurs sounded like, anyway). : )

  75. I know, right? They never seem to wobble on those little stick-legs, though. Adorable plump birdies rock.

  76. Thanks, Theresa!!

    For some reason, the Big Green Mod Machine has *hung up* a reply I attempted to post, TWELVE HOURS ago … also w/ the Nairobi Trio.

    *long, @gonized sigh*

  77. to Theresa:

  78. Ouch, feathered golf ball!
    Yet, you look so comfy there…
    Will you stick around?

  79. Nina Stein says:

    the original flikr page seems to indicate that it is a fairy wren.