Red Billed Hill Tit

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An excellent talker, the WATTLED MYNA (lower left) can learn to enunciate as clearly as the best of the parrots. One of these birds on exhibit at a meeting in Washington. D. C., astonished a former director of the Budget Bureau by greeting him with the words: “How about the appropriation?” The lively, engaging RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (top bird) comes from southern South America. A splendid singer, the sprightly SHAMA THRUSH (white-edged tail) is also something of a mimic. The lowest perched bird is the active. noisy WHITE-EARED BULBUL. “Japanese robin” is one of several misnomers for the warbling RED-BILLED HILL TIT (on ground), a native of China.

By Alexander Wetmore

Originally appeared in the December 1938 issue of the National Geographic Magazine

The sprightly little “Japanese robin” (Leiothrix lutea) is wrongly named, since it is found from southern China to northern India and Burma and does not occur wild in Japan. It is better called the “red-billed hill tit.” It requires soft food, but is hardy and easily handled in cage or in aviary, and pays for its care in its alert, active movements and pleasant warbling songs.

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