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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Birdwatcher’s Guide to Twitter: More Basic Species Identification -

The Robin

With her jaunty colouring, and curious demeanour, the Robin is the nation’s favourite twitter species. Instantly recognisable, she was a household name well before twitter was a twinkle in Jack Dorsey’s eye. .

The Robin is just as happy tugging worms from the gardens of the rich and famous as from the scrubland behind the gasworks. Ordinary and trivial one minute, funny and loud the next, her chirp is a pleasure to listen to. With no need to market herself, she’s free simply to be herself. Alas, though, not such a pleasure to write about, but proof, if proof were needed, that the kind and nice are much harder to make interesting than the nasty and grim. So, moving swiftly on...

The Feral Pigeon

The Feral Pigeon, known colloquially as the flying rat, is a menace on Twitter, which she treats as her own exclusive territory.  Spikes on ballustrades, wire over statues, will not inhibit her corrosive influence. 

The Feral Pigeon is the Twitter paradox.  Witless, charmless and brain-achingly pedestrian both in what she offers and the way she offers it, this bird is nonetheless popular, attracting many thousands of followers with whom she frolics, squabbles and squawks with tedious ostentation.  Just like her corollary in the natural world, people will feed her with their bare hands, encourage her to perch, wings flapping, on their heads and outstetched arms, taking her photograph, maintaining, despite the species’s obvious limitations - her ungainly style, a propensity to find nourishment in the most unappetising of remains, and the manifest evidence of disease - an inexplicable but unquenchable fondness. 

The theory is that feeding the feral pigeon uncooked rice will result in her intestines exploding.  Tempting.

For previously spotted twitter species, the Blue Footed Booby, the Mother Hen and the Peacock, click here.

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