Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love is in the air

It's about a month early by my reckoning, but all the birds seem to be courting. It was windy and snowy this morning, so there wasn't much action, but yesterday I watched a pair of wrens chasing each other in that "you know you like me" way. A downy woodpecker couple was doing the same. There were two gorgeous pileated woodpeckers feeding together. I'm not sure if they were really working up to love, since mated pileateds stay together all year, but they were certainly very chummy. It was so sweet to see. Of course, there's always the possibility of trouble in paradise:

**"As with other woodpeckers, there are sometimes triangular encounters among pileateds, when an intruding bird challenges a mated pair and tries to steal a mate for itself. In these cases, the conflict is between the intruder and the member of the pair that is of its own sex, that is, male versus male or female versus female. The other member of the pair may just remain in the area, instead of flying away, and does not join in the conflict... Usually the intruder is routed."

That "usually" seems kinda sad, doesn't it?

**From Stokes Nature Guides: A Guide to Bird Behavior, Volume 3, Donald and Lillian Stokes (Little, Brown & Company, 1989) 274

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Anonymous said...

LOL BG, Love is indeed in the air... especially for those lovely winged creatures!

Hubby and I were driving back home from Lowe's Home Improvement Store the other day and were waiting at a red light. While waiting, I spied a pair of small lovebug like insects joined together at their butts and having bug sex on our windshield.

To my horror, my husband hit the windshield wiper to get them off the window but instead he killed them. It was awful and I made him feel bad about his murderous move.

Yet, love was in the air that day.


BitterGrace said...

What a sad story, Dawn. Talk about star-crossed lovers ;-)

chayaruchama said...

You fill me with such longing, Maria.

I adore those sylvan meanderings of yours.
Know that I feel closest to you, with these posts [ we're SUCH suckers for the natural world...].

Mossy kisses to you.