BIDDEFORD – Wildlife biologists confirmed yesterday what many have long suspected: the Tufted Titmouse, a small bird native to the Eastern United States, including Southern Maine, can be the subject of a large variety of hilarious jokes and witticisms, mostly deriving from its name.
Researchers at the University of New England released the preliminary results of a two-year-study of all avian species native to the Pine Tree State, and concluded that the Tufted Titmouse is clearly the most amusing, surpassing even the Buff Breasted Sandpiper and the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.
In fact, only New Zealand’s Red-Faced Shag surpasses the Tufted Titmouse for the honor of funniest bird name in the world.
“The results did surprise us a little,” admitted UNE ornithologist Lauren Ackelby, “but I think the alliterative ‘T’s made the difference. After all, without all these Tufted Titmice around, what is there for a Hairy Woodpecker to get excited about?”
The American Woodcock, previously assumed to be the funniest bird in Maine, gave its firm support for the Tufted Titmouse. “For the longest time everyone has thought of me as just a patriotic cock made of wood, so I’m rather pleased to think I’ll be getting less attention now,” said the Woodcock.
UNE researchers also noted, with audible snickering, that there is a bird out there called the “Dickcissel.”