Brightly Colored Dancing

It’s dating season in the bird world. Yesterday I watched not one, but two pairs of red-tailed hawks dance high above me, as if the sky were their ballroom. Before that, I had seen two turkeys marching across a field, one sniffing close behind the other, as if they were the singular formation of a showy parade. Today, as three Canada Geese pursued a fourth, their barking and groaning sounded more like overly loud trumpet practice than an alluring serenade.

But even more dramatic than the moves and the melodies is the variety in the colors of the feathers. First there is the difference between one species to the next. Then, there are the multiple outfits that any single bird can wear in its lifetime. From infant to adult, each changes costumes regularly. Called molting, some do it once a year, others redress more often than that. And almost all save their flashest attire for the dance…for mating season…for spring.

No one-dimensional image can portray the beauty of the live scene. Therefore, I leave you with a photo of the stage. To see the actors, you must go outside and watch the show.


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