Instagram | @koichi_kotani

Tiny Birds That Look Like Flying Cotton Balls Live On Japanese Island

In the world of cute things, tiny is king. Smol is best.

And to those of you rolling your eyes at that, "smol" isn't just a juvenile misspelling of a perfectly good word. Yes, tininess is a very important element of being truly smol, but there is also an emotional element.

Basically, when something is smol, we all become the Abominable Snowman in those Looney Tunes shorts.

"And call him George."

Tiny birds definitely fall into the smol category and I stumbled across a particularly smol bird worth appreciating.

This little cotton ball is called a Long-Tailed Tit.

Instagram | @franpepperland

(Please pause for giggles.)

Long-tailed tits are quite common throughout Europe and Asia, and their tails are only really "long" in relation to their tiny bodies. An adult only grows to be about 13-15 cm (5-6 in) long, and that's including the tail, which counts for as much as half that length.

While their tininess is always adorable, the specific group of long-tailed tits found in Hokkaido are in a league all their own.

Instagram | @obagaki

Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan and is home to a lot of preserved wildlife areas, including six national parks and 17 quasi-national and prefectural parks.

As such, it has become famous for its wildlife diversity and there are many species that can only be found there.

Other animals in Hokkaido have unique features, which is the case with these tiny birds.

Instagram | @ktgwyzr

While most long-tailed tits have brown or gray "eyebrows" and more brown in their feathers, the ones in Hokkaido have pure white faces.

This makes them look like flying cotton balls, with black tails and wings.

They're distinct enough to have earned their own name: the shima-enaga bird.

Reddit | @ariarin53

It literally translates to "long-tailed island" bird, which is pretty much accurate.

Unsurprisingly, they are super popular among Japanese people.

Instagram | @naoko27ap

Look at how cute this themed dessert is, omg.

You can find tons of little knick-knacks and treats themed around these smol birbs.

h/t:Japan Times, H.I.S.Go

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