Friday, August 13, 2010

Flamingo Friday: The Sleep That Dares(?) Not Speak Its Name

All I wanted to do was see if there was a technical term for birds tucking their head under their wing—which is the subject of today's Flamingo Friday, because I love the way these birds look when just the top of their head and their little yellow eyes are peeking out from among their multi-hued feathers.

Except it turns out (if you can trust the internet) that 1. birds don't actually tuck their heads "under their wings" but in fact tuck 'em against the soft, pillowy feathers of their backs (this seems a little nit-picky to me, but who am I to judge?), and 2. there is no short-hand term for it! Oh, sure, a couple of people use the phrase "head tuck" or "wing tuck," but that's not very satisfying, is it?

I was sure, with all the interest in ornithology and birding, that there'd be a specific word to describe this. After all, getting birds in trees to come close to you by saying "pissssssssshhhhhh" is called "pishhhhing" or something, so if that has a word associated with it, then this behavior certainly should.

And, since it doesn't seem to, it's up to us to come up with one. I've been thinking about this for quite some time (at least five minutes), and I haven't come up with anything good, but I'm still hopeful.

Should it sound cozy, like "snuggling"? "Tucking" just has too many associations, to my mind, but then, I went to Oberlin, so maybe that's not a universal problem. –Should it be a technical-sounding term, like "dorsal sleep" or "vertebral snoozing" or something? (I admit, these could use a little work, but, again, only been at it for five minutes.) "Backsleep" sounds too much like "backpay," as if they're catching up on missed sleep (which sounds like a great idea but is also not particularly accurate).


Any suggestions will be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I think it should be called HFWTiTi which stands for Head Tuck for When I am TiTi.

Anca said...

Down respite.

Unknown said...

auto-pillowing? or does that sound wrong? (there's that Oberlin influence again)

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