I lay no claim to being an ornithologist – but I’m telling you, spring is most definitely in the air in the bird kingdom. You should see and hear what’s going on in the trees around our house. It’s a veritable conclave for coming together (so to speak).
Apparently cardinals are monogamous, but the guys still go through a very touching courtship routine each season. They ask their prospective baby-mamas out for a date. I gather this tryst is always about food – no ice-skating or movies involved. But if the meal is good and the guy is cute, he can seal the deal if he sings well. Personally, I have heard some very impressive trilling lately. And my hunch is that he’s got to bring something more than a McDonald’s Happy Meal if he’s hoping for a long-term relationship. It’s good to be discerning I think – regardless of your species. And I think it’s good for the kids to see their parents being nice to each other.
Now, the male robins show up a few weeks ahead of the girls, to scope out neighborhoods, do a little house-hunting, and sing threateningly to establish property rights (I guess this is analogous to going to a closing on one’s house). Far be it for me to let them know that what they perceive as threatening sounds pretty damn glorious to me. When the ladies arrive, things move into a mode similar to “The Dating Game” (yes, this dates me significantly). The female has her choice, gets to ask a lot of questions (do you believe that parenting responsibilities should be shared; would you describe yourself as a romantic; if you were a human, what kind of human would you be, etc) and once she chooses her mate they head off for a brief honeymoon at some undisclosed location up the street.
We have a lot of different birds around here – I’m just mentioning these two types because they’re the least intimidating. And because this topic could get a little tedious. Let’s just say that turkey vultures courting other turkey vultures is nightmare-worthy and so frightening to Bogey that he barked at the sky for twenty minutes after witnessing their efforts at seduction. There’s just nothing romantic to be said about turkey vultures. Unless of course you’re a turkey vulture.
So as the buds begin to wink suggestively, promising more beauty yet to come, there’s even more salacious activity going on within their branches. Listen up, it’s the music of love.
47 thoughts on “Sex And The Single Bird”
Great observations, Mimi! We have Flickers out here – a kind of woodpecker whose courtship ritual involves the male building a nest to entice the female. Unfortunately, they try to drill large holes in our house every year. We wake up to the equivalent of a jack-hammer outside our bedroom!
We only have a few woodpeckers around here, providing some syncopation to all the trilling!
You’ve nailed it (sorry, pun intended) Mim…it’s a regular cathouse out there (oops, not to say the gals are pros..but you have to admit there’s a lot of tender being offered by the males). It’s great to be witness to the spring flings! 🙂
Laughing – spring flings!! love it!!
freezing rain and snow here today…you? but..does not stop them one bit! think there’s more than one ‘randy’ flying around.
Just cloudy and really cold. And it’s not stopping the action here one bit!
I’ve noticed the same thing here, unexpectedly. We are still getting snow, after all.
We are too – but the heart wants what it wants when it wants it, I guess..;-)
I love the Dating Game (which I remember well) question, “If you were a human, what kind of human would you be?” In fact, I think it makes a good interview question as well, even better when asked of a human…love this!
Laughing – wouldn’t that be a great interview question??? Happy you liked this one Jill!! xo
And now that you’re hooked on Jonathan Coulton, here’s one that fits perfectly with your theme… https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O-77ElyvRxI
I had no idea where this video was going to go..
That’s why it’s animated…in case anyone has any questions about mechanics…
Love it!! Being a single bird myself, I couldn’t help but compare my experience with those of our flying friends. Now every time I hear the sweet sound of mockingbirds and finches outside of my bedroom, I will think of you! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and prayers that spring is right around the corner!! xo
Thanks Christine – spring is on the wing (so to speak)…Have a fabulous weekend!! xo
Love is in the air! I can hear it here too, played out with snow as a backdrop. The litter horny critters are pretty loud!
Laughing – far better stated than my post Kate! They are definitely vocal woo-ers…
Smiled from beginning to end of this post, honey. Our feathered friends are setting the tone for what simply *must* be a glorious spring–we’ve earned it!! Wishing you all the aviary action you can stand in the coming days…xoxox, l
Smiling – bring on the aviary action!! At least it’s cause they’re happy (I wonder what happens to those who don’t pair up – hopefully they’re sensationally single and have a great song for that too!) xoxo, me
Even jellyfish? What are we waiting for?
Laughing…now I can’t get the song “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid out of my head!
This was interesting I enjoyed it
You see and hear all that? Incredible what goes on in your head. 🙂
Well, I haven’t seen them go on actual dates or anything…
wow–you’ve taken the nature channel to a whole ‘nother level! Not only do you read people well, but you also have an in on the bird thing. You’re so much fun to read, Mimi 🙂 Glad spring has sprung in your part of the woods. No birds have dared fly my way as of yet.
I doubt I read them as well as my imagination thinks I read them!! And though spring is still a hint here, making its arrival known in ways so subtle you have to really pay attention (and I’m desperate enough to really pay attention), the birds are definitely prepping for spring break!
I hear it too every single morning when I’m walking my little Peanut. Hope for warmer weather is on the horizon.
A wonderful introduction to your spring
Thanks Elizabeth – we are so ready for spring here!
Nice post, thanks, I love birds as you obviously do.
Thank you! And yes, I’m hypnotized by their flights and songs..
I am a dork…I replied to this, days ago, when you posted, and then it sat here, in my browser. How? Not sure, but clearly my brain in some kind of vortex. So scrap that, and ahhh..I love the hint of spring, the hint of what’s next – especially when it’s warmer than what we have right now! I am relating to and loving all the in-between-the lines – so funny! Chirp chirp my friend…don’t forget the birdseed! 🙂 xoxox
🙂 Hardly a dork…and as for the vortex – isn’t that over here? Happy you liked it sweets..xox
Different kind of vortex! This one may not be as cold, but it makes up for it in other ways! haha! Loved it. tweet-tweet! xoxo
I have to thank Wikipedia for that and am remiss for not putting that acknowledgement below the picture…
wow, you are really attuned to the rituals of life – just like humans, we each have our own mating rituals and style )
And from the outside, they all seem so innocent and kind of sweet. I’m sure if I were to peel the layers back, it would be a whole different story..or at least a very complicated one.
the birds are “orny”…:) Fun, flirty approach with the Dating Game analogy–my favorite paragraph, and who knows? Could be true…
At my PT chef job (now just cheffin’) we have a pair that comes back year after year–and they are just now setting up nest. I think they are the same ones–though I notice some extra guys hanging around now and again in the finch world, you can tell by their flashy orange medallions…:)
This was so sweet! I like the Ella song, love birds (I just have to!) and also, just recently posted about the ducks in the creek nearby where they wake me up with their darn quacking! The funniest part of my post was when my little nine year old saw there were 6 ‘boy’ ducks and only 2 ‘girl’ ducks! He said that the girls were ‘lucky ducks!’ I laughed and also, I now know who is doing all that quacking! (Imagine a little debauchery or a harem of men!) Smiles, Robin
I love your nine year old’s comment! – out of the mouths of babes….I’m glad you liked this Robin – thanks!
On this gray December day in North Carolina, you have brought a real moment of Spring!