Thursday, August 2, 2012

the bird in my head: pop quiz answer

The chaffinch:
(fabulous photo by Andreas Trepte, courtesy of Wiki)

"Let me out! Let me out!"
(... of bb's head. If only it were that easy!)

The common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) lives 'round about here:
 (Map drawn by the Gretaz, also via Wiki)
     Summer      Resident      Winter     Introduced
     canariensis      spodiogenys

The map at BBC Nature shows these guys ranging much further east & north,
but you get the general idea. 

Yes, the "chaff finch" is a finch (family Fringillidae),
and apparently got its name 'cause it'd appear in farm fields,
among the chaff, pecking for seeds and such.
Keepin' those big ol' beaks busy.

Why this bird is (still) in my head is anyone's guess.
They don't live anywhere near me.
And though I do follow a few British birder blogs,
I think Olivia (see quiz page comments) may have figured it out:
over exposure to Brit Lit & BBC TV.

(illustration of Sherlock Holmes from The Strand magazine,
The Man with the Twisted Lip,  Sidney Paget's copyright expired >70y ago)

High school = Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens,
"I, Claudius," "Brideshead Revisited," and "Danger UXB"
full stop.

And, in the last month (and months into the future)
I am reading and editing a big document
that's written in British English (and built to stay that way).
Accordingly, I am studying the Oxford Style Manual, and the OED.

But, who knows.
Either way, I'm hoping some people have learned something (I have),
and that this post may pry this poor passerine from bb's brainpan-prison.

THANK YOU, intrepid guessers! 

Olivia and Susannah both knew the answer, so nicely done! Woo hoo!

ALL you guys rock. So creative.
*happy sigh*
I highly recommend reading the comments if you haven't. =)
The descriptions involving mud are goodies!


Anyhow, I'd better get back to editing aforementioned document. =)

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend,
and bonds with whatever birdies abound nearby.



  1. well...i really wasn't THAT far off (with one of my guesses) wasn't a bird was a BIRD!
    but sometimes close just doesn't count! :/

    have a nice weekend!

    1. Oh, I know! When I read your answer I was almost sweating. You were SO CLOSE!!! =) Your subconscious was probably nudging you that way. =) Oh, if half your answer is "bird" you get at LEAST half credit. I can SO hear some bird call sounding like cha-FINCH cha-FINCH cha-FINCH!


Cool people write inside rectangles....