14 April, 2019

Side-by-side

Spring is here, and with it comes the breeding season for most animal species. The birds are singing again and performing their wonderful displays. Males are getting their bright colors back and all are making their way to their breeding grounds.

Some pairs have even begun to form already. So far I have seen mostly duck species that have decided who they are going to spend the breeding season with. Of these paired species I have seen Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors), Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) and Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa).

Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) and House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) are among the few songbird species that I have seen making pairs, but others have been singing their hearts out trying to gain the attention of their future mate. I’ve even witnessed a couple of American Robins (Turdus migratorius) grappling in my yard to try and establish dominance over each other.

Although things can sometimes become violent it’s for a good cause. Come late spring/early summer there will be nests filled with baby birds waiting for their parents to return with food. After that comes the fun fledgling stage. Eventually these odd behaviors lead to a new population of breeding adults who will return next spring to make their pairs and perform their displays once more.

Photos

Male and female Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors) pair wading side-by-side

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