Birding is what reminds me that we humans are not so unique, from Mother Nature’s perspective. Long days and recent long years in the field reveal, to my amateur mind, a common behavior that we humans narcissistically claim as our own.
My focus is mostly on the Feathered Ones. Whether their behavior seems so very human to me, or human behavior seems so very Avian, I cannot decide. But my watchful observations give me a peace that surpasses all understanding.
A recent daytrip birding the Texas City Dike gave me a front-row seat to watch the best of living behavior: the beauty of young love.
Setting the stage takes few words, but most importantly, I’d never received permission from a Brown Pelican to stand so close as to acquire such a detailed bill and plumage photo. (After reading the words of this story, you will want to go back and "click on" the photos for full screen viewing--the pictures are worth a thousand poorly-written words.)
Note the multi-coloring of the bill; of the throat; of the feathers that tell me this is a first winter young Brown One:
And soon I realized that this young Brown One was ignoring me because her focus was on that all consuming state of young love. She was not alone. I watched the delicate touch of these two:
And this photo, catching the tender caress of these two young lovers, caught a look of love in their eyes that touched my heart. I was watching that sacred moment of tender love that we humans so cherish:
Well, this tender touch was all the encouragement the young male needed, and soon hormones and sexuality replaced all that tender, slow caressing. The young male moved into position to declare a serious intent:
And so she turned, giving that silent hint of encouragement:
And I caught that look, HIS look—at her—well, you know what. Where have I seen that look before? Oh yes, sitting inside a shopping mall, people watching. How often have we humans caught one human (young or old) checking out another human, in the same way as this young brown One:
And oh, but how she responded:
And she waited; and waited:
And what happened next? I’ll post those pictures with Part II of this story…