The bearded reedling is certainly one of those rare birds that don’t look or even sound real.
If you’d seen one of these birds before, you’d know it. They aren’t easy to miss; with their unique under-eye markings and plump round bodies, they are like no other.
Some have even compared the bearded reedling to a mini pufferfish with legs, and we can see why.
As noticeable as these birds are, they are quite elusive. You’ll be lucky to spot one from the marshes of England all the way to east Asia.
They are often mistaken for bushtits due to their similarities in appearance
The males of the species sport black patches under their eyes, it’s not hard to miss.
The females are equally as round and they can be seen in pale orange colour.
Most of these birds are observed near wetlands among the reeds, and they do not often migrate.
However, if you wish to see their orb-like appearance you will have to meet them during the winter.
It’s the season in which they puff up their faces to receive extra warmth.
They are small creatures with long tails who feed on insects and reed seeds.
They also nest among the reeds, usually on piles of dead reed stems.
They emit a nasal “ting” or “ping” as they flutter about the reeds.
Despite their shape, these birds really are more acrobatic than they look.
Just watch how agile one is while looking for food: