Mating

2020.05.15

Evidently, for some, going to Las Vegas to get married is the thing to do.  Maybe so, but I can unequivocally state that, for the birds of Southern Alberta, our yard seems to be a popular place to mate.  As an early riser, I’ve witnessed several bird family conceptual moments whilst looking out our back window.  It’s all very ‘romantic’.

Prompted by these early morning experiences, I went looking for avian couples and some domestic bird house tending along the country roads around Cochrane.  This week, my Spring story will be in images.  None so dramatic as my image of a pair of Canada geese that you saw a few weeks ago, but rather birds in a more peaceful setting.  However, I imagine that, for the little birds, nothing is peaceful about nesting and trying to raise a family of fledglings when much of the world around them is looking for an easy meal.

Dad and Mom Mountain Bluebird keeping an eye on their nesting box  
whilst sunning themselves in the warmth of the dawn sun.


A Northern Shoveler couple relaxing by a slough, although the colourful guy was keeping a beady eye on me.


This colourful Mountain Bluebird, kept close to his nesting box.
My guess was that the female was inside tending to their eggs.


The cohabitants with Mountain Bluebirds are the Tree Swallows.  They make for good neighbours.


I noticed that the Bluebird houses were set out in pairs.  I asked my birding friend, Jim, why this was so and he sent me some information from Bird House Supply.  Pairing boxes is the only way to ensure swallows won’t take over all the bluebird boxes, however, there is no way to completely swallow-proof a birdhouse.  By setting up these pairs, both birds can nest in harmony.



[FLASH!  A late entry]    A mallard couple just hanging about at the Cochrane Ranche


I hope I can start talking about more greenery by next weekend.  I’ve had enough boring biege for this year.