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These Birds Never Left High School.

And they never will.


I have spent the last couple days studying birds found throughout the world, and I found that once again, humans and animals are parallel in how they act. Here’s some of the birds I have compiled that are most similar to some of the stereotypical cliques we all knew in high school, and how they’re just like us.

Eurasian Hoopoes – The Jocks

The Eurasian Hoopoe. This image was taken by Dûrzan Cîrano / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) and has not been altered.

Hoopoe birds are the showoffs of the bird world, but its not all brawns, no brains necessarily. They look gorgeous with their black-and-white striped wings, and they’re extremely active; yet they move through the air “fluttering unevenly like a giant butterfly” as stated on Birdnote. They lack the usual grace of birds, but they make up for it by being extremely athletic and loud. Interestingly enough, their name also comes from their call, “a trisyllabic oop oop oop” similar to that of some stereotypical high school jocks during a basketball game (Listen here).

Size: 25-29 cm, 57 grams
Egg Count: 4-7
Location: Europe, Asia, Africa
Cool Behavior: The Hoopoe smashes it’s food (usually insects) on the ground, and then throws the poor thing into the air to catch it in its mouth.

Blue Pittas – The Loners

The Blue Pitta. This photo was taken by JJ Harrison (https://tiny.jjharrison.com.au/t/2OnEt6FLISgNaKoR) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) and has not been altered.

Blue Pittas are shy birds, with a very strange yet calculated call (Listen here). The males have very vibrant blue and yellow feathers, and both the male and female Pittas have a distinctive black stripe going through their eyes. Similar to the stereotypical loners, they tend to live alone, and hunt alone, and eat alone; BUT they get by just fine, because they’re self-sufficient.

Size: 23 cm
Nest Type: Large dome
Location: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
Cool Behavior: Though the Pitta does live alone, the only other birds they will associate with regularly are their parents.

Jamaican Todies – The Cheerleaders

The Jamaican Tody. This photo was taken by Charles J Sharp / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) and has not been altered.

The Jamaican Tody is a feisty little bird, with lots of attitude stuffed into a tiny little body. Their calls are similar to the “song” of Cheerleaders, short and rhythmic, with lots of volume (Listen here). They are undeniably beautiful, and extremely flashy. And yet another trait that makes them similar to the stereotypical cheerleader: they are very social, and they’re even comfortable around humans!

Size: 9 cm, 6 grams
Egg Count: 1-4
Location: Jamaica
Cool Behavior: The Tody has been known to give their mates dead bugs as a type of “Valentine’s Day gift.”

Bornean Bristleheads – The Nerds

The Bornean Bristlehead. This photo was taken by Mike Prince from Bangalore, India / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) and has been cropped.

This bird was by far my favorite of all the one’s listed here: The Bornean Bristlehead. The Bristlehead is a very unique bird, with a distinctive call, similar to that of someone being chased by a mugger, or perhaps a two-year-old who didn’t get what they wanted at the toy store (Listen here). They always stick close to their friends, and they don’t like interacting with anyone (anybird) outside of their clique. There was not a whole lot of information about them out there, with less than 600 worldwide sightings on eBird, but from what I gathered, they are very intelligent creatures that are smart enough to stay away from humans.

Size: 25 cm
Nest Type: Cup Shaped
Location: Borneo
Cool Behavior: Two female Bristleheads were seen feeding the same chick, showing signs of communal breeding in the species!

Drongos – The Troublemakers

This photo was taken by അപ്പു at Malayalam Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5) and has not been altered.

The Black Drongo is a noisy bird with black feathers that shine blue and green in just the right angle of sunlight. I have dubbed them “the troublemakers” of the bird world because of the behavior they are famous for: attacking other birds (especially ones larger than themselves). Their call is very unique and attention-grabbing, it sounds like three different birds singing three different songs, all in a row! (Listen here)

Size: 27-31 cm
Egg Count: 3
Location: South Korea, India, China, Indonesia
Cool Behavior: A common mating ritual of the Drongo is to interlock wings and beaks, then fall to the ground.


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