Friday, July 28, 2017

FAKE BIRD NEWS! The Korean Crow-Tit




This Is The Korean Crow-Tit - The World's Cutest Bird!

This little birdy is a Korean crow-tit and it looks like a fluffy cotton ball with tiny wings.

It's a little poof ball!

LOOK AT ITS TINY WINGS!




The above rhapsody is from a site called Sunny Skyz, which posts mostly, I believe, sunny, funny, adorable things, which these bird pictures definitely are.

I looked up the fluffball birdie elsewhere, and it appeared on a few other bouncy, flouncy, good-news sites, along with (groannn, inevitably) Pinterest.




I quickly became enamored of this poofball, compared (on one page) with "something a little kid would make out of a cotton ball". I even made a little animation with it (somewhere below).

But then I began to have my doubts.

I began to have my doubts when I looked for information about this bird, and hit a complete and total dead end.




Wikipedia, which has entries on just about every species of bird, bee, animal and plant, had nothing at all on it, in spite of a massive entry on Korean bird species that ran into the hundreds. 

It got worse. My beloved Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (which I refer to almost daily now that I have become a Bird Nerd) had nothing on it either. Tits, yes! There are many kinds of tits, and I have heard all the jokes. But no Korean crow-tit.

I had a growing suspicion, one I've had many times before. Somebody was having me on.




After googling around fruitlessly and only finding endless replications of the cute little fluff-balls, with no information about them at all, I came across a startling entry from a site, supposedly about some sort of Korean "boy band" called BTS. Once I read it, I was more confused than ever:

Now the video I linked says, "They call me a try-hard", but I think it's more accurate to leave the word 'baepsae', or 'crow-tit'. This hinges on the fact that this song utilizes a well-known phrase in Korea: "If a crow-tit walks like a stork, it will tear its legs". A crow-tit is a bird with a small stride because it has short legs, and when we compare this with a stork who has much taller legs, we see that the stork would easily be able to travel farther with less effort.




The song itself mentions the stork and the crow-tit multiple times, the "crow-tits" being the generation from which BTS members come, whereas the "storks" are the generation prior. The stork generation is comprised of parents, teachers, employees- people the younger generation is meant to be able to look up to and to learn from.




So somebody probably extracted the name from that song and, as a gag, attached it to pictures of a very cute bird which nobody can readily identify. How many people know about the old Korean legend of the crow-tit, and how it might tear its little legs if it walks like a stork? Fans of BTS, perhaps, though this strikes me as more like B. S. 

My question is, how many people accepted this fluffy little hoax without question? Quite a few, it seems. The white birdie has been around since some time last year, and I haven't seen it challenged (until now!).




BLOGGER'S P. S. I just emailed the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, which has never failed me yet in providing information about all things bird. That's what I love about them. There is always a human being there, and one that loves and knows about birds. Usually they get back to you post-haste.

So if and when I get an answer about the real identity of this tiny little poofball, I'll update you immediately. Myself, I can hardly wait! 


4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Actually, I did and forgot to post it. They responded quite promptly:
      Hi Margaret,

      I love a good internet-"meme"stery!

      So, as near as I can figure, the bird that is colloquially referred to as a crow-tit in Korea is the Parrotbill - the Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana
      http://www.hbw.com/species/vinous-throated-parrotbill-sinosuthora-webbiana

      The picture that comes up if you google "Korean Crow-tit" appears to be some kind of actual tit-but possibile leucistic (http://feederwatch.org/learn/unusual-birds/#color-variants). Not the parrotbill, though I see some superficial resemblance.

      I will have to investigate further to see if I can figure out what that mostly white bird is that is coming up in the search.

      Marc Devokaitis
      Public Information Specialist
      The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

      (Me again): The parrotbill is a fluffy brown bird, so maybe someone got it mixed up with the fluffy white bird (which is much more appealing). Really, on the internet today, someone could completely make up a bird species and most people would believe it.

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  2. The bird appears to be a Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.lassemadsen.com/long-tailed-tit.html I believe you're right. The "cutesie" photos mainly show the bird from the front, giving the impression it's a white fluff-ball. Thanks for solving this!

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