Watch that birdie! This expression, according to Phrase Finder, is
"usually given to children to get them to face in the right direction for a photographic portrait, unlike 'say cheese', did refer to an actual object. The 'birdies' were animated props that could be made to squawk or warble and so attract a child's attention."The above phrase fluttered past my consciousness together with the following flock of pictures in today's Straits Times.
According to the report, a 29-year-old teacher discovered the nest of the olive-backed sunbird two weeks ago and "decided to let it be". Now that the eggs had hatched in a "unique nest" inside his (?) briefs on Monday night, one truly wonders how long the educator usually hangs his laundry out to dry.
No doubt sufficient enough for the adult sunbird to build a complete nest within a pair of undie! Being a former educator myself, I reckoned that the ceaseless markings, meetings, counselling and a host of other tasks must help explain this regular (?) neglect of one's laundry, especially those precious delicates. I hope the items are sanitised again before they are worn!
But I am all for living in harmony with nature. This chap even went out on the limb and sent pictures of his eco-extension to the Bird Ecology Study Group, a local bird study group. Kudos to his unabashed hanging of "questionably" dirty laundry out to dry with fringe shoe-box benefits to the undie birdie!