I am very lucky to say that I have access to many birds. And I’m nosy enough to want to try and understand their lives. As you might have read in earlier blogs, I have been watching my herons and get a kick out of so many antics on display. Being a bird watcher is absorbing. I can’t pretend I am not amused at the emotions birds also show. I have seen (what I interpret) as jealousy, bullying, love and affection. “Experts” with larger gray matter than me might say it is all instinct, but I like to personalize my birds. Take for instance this morning, I was at the marina and noticed the same pigeon pair perched in the same place and positions as last week. They groomed each other, sang to each other and clearly their courtship or honeymoon made for wonderful viewing.
   They truly seem enamored of each other. The doves too, they find a mate and dote on each other. It looks so sweet. Both doves and pigeons are in the same bird family. I bet you didn’t know both sexes produce a fluidy, nutritious milk substance called ‘crop-milk’ for their young, (I didn’t know either till I just looked it up.) 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbidae  

There are many pigeons and doves at the marina. Love how they strut their bodies and the iridescence of their feathers.

The seagulls have their own markings, it’s beautiful to watch many of them flying at one time. A great wash of wings fluttering above you as they scream their intentions.
Show up with some bread or crackers around the marina and you have a solid winged riot! Ducks, grackles, crows, gulls and ibis swarm you. They are used to people bringing them food and don’t shy away. I have seen ducks run into cars flying low at the marina.
Many of the ducks are so inbred, many crossed between the mallards into muscovy mixes. My favorite ducks are the muscovys and I love a duck with a good head of hair!
Osprey are mating all over and nesting in high places everywhere there’s water close by. The commorants, anhingas and herons are all in abundance.  Lots of good bird viewing! There’s a lot to watch and enjoy. This is a great way to unwind and let time wither away as you are absorbed by nature.
Sad to tell you that the cycle of life is part of the birds that inhabit my yard. While the birds reproduce and there are nests full of chirping, hungry mouths in need of a meal, there is also death in those nests. Sometimes a young bird will fall out, if the nest is low, that’s easy prey for a cat! I have watched my own cat Ringo run off with young birds. I have also witnessed a heron baby falling out of the nest last year and sunk like a stone in the lake below. Yesterday I saw a ritual of death while sitting in the backyard. I was taking pictures of the one heron female who has babies, It looked like she was holding a stick and kept hoisting it up and then putting it back down. She then flew down with a mouth full and dunked whatever the thing was into the water thoroughly saturating it and swallowed it. Not until later when I looked at the photos did I see she held and had eaten her dead baby heron. But there is still one up there, hope it survives.
It has been a rough week for many who have lost their homes and towns and lives to the devastation of tornadoes. The treacherous weather continued today and more is expected this weekend as a front comes through. If you can, please help by making a donation or doing something to help the victims.  Times being so hard for many has just brought even worse devastation to people just like you. Reach out, do something to make someone’s life a little easier, you will never regret it!

My cat Sasha gets to come out when I have some time to keep an eye on her. Sometimes the thought of catching birds is just overwhelming to her psyche and she gets so excited she looks and sounds so funny, http://youtu.be/ZunyhvP4bSM

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