30 May 2016

[liff] Our Hummingbird, Perching

In heraldry, that is to say, the classic school of artistic design of coats of arms, there is a bird called the martlet. It is drawn usually something like this:

Those tufts on the bottom of the bird are where the feet would be, if they were there. Medieval people had funny ideas about fauna. The most likely, to me, legend as to whither the martlet comes from the conjecture that it was inspired by the swift … which probably perched, but few people actually saw it happen, so the popular idea was that they never landed at all.

Which was kind of what I thought about hummingbirds. We have a few hanging about; they're pleasant birds, fun to watch, and scrappy little guys who are not above chasing (and sometimes succeeding) some of the local crows away from the area. I mean, I knew that hummingbirds perched, but I'd never seen one … until this guy:

And that, my friends, is your Marlin Perkins moment for the day. 

No comments: