Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mr. Personality

Mr. Personality, originally uploaded by Winged Wench.
This little guy, as well as all barn swallows, can be very humorous to watch. I get the feeling when watching them, however, that it's not so funny to them. The subject of this photo held onto this feather for close to an hour, at the same time obviously calling for his mate, to show her "his present". I observed him for well over 2 hours-until dark, and she never came home. After about an hour of this feather dance, he dropped it, losing interest in it entirely. This is when he really began losing patience while awaiting her arrival.  It was as if that feather was his last shred of his sanity. He became more and more excited, staying within 50 feet of  the dock, where I had initially spotted him. I am assuming their nest was under this dock, due to him never leaving that area. As the sun drop down towards the horizon,  he could not sit still, chattering agitatedly, flying to different landing spots within this zone, then returning, repeatedly. What I initially thought was cute and funny soon had me looking at this scene in an entirely different light.  I realized he was every bit as concerned as we humans would be, if not more so, had our mate not come home at the expected time. There are bad guys in OUR world, but these smaller birds face danger every minute of every day. I am constantly amazed at the care and concern that all birds have for their immediate families, often times far exceeding what we humans show towards each other.

1 comment:

Isom said...

A very touching story but sad. Too often when people see animal antics, they find them humorous without stopping to realise there's often far more going on than initially seen. If you hadn't been patient, you'd never have known better.

Poor little guy - do you know if the nestlings could survive just with one parent? Did you ever see him with another mate later?

I had a possum that regularly visited my place in the evening & was even tame enough that I could sit & talk with her. Once I even stroked her fur - amazingly soft! There's a story about her & another possum on my Flickr page at if you're interested. The tamer one was a female as could be seen by the lack of male apparatus under her tail. I was able to be at ground level with her & she'd hold her tail level so I could've seen if it was a male.

Sadly, I haven't seen her for a couple of months although I do see the other possum occasionally. I wonder now if her 'tameness' wasn't instead failing eyesight & sense of danger that came due to advancing age. She did walk unsteadily which I didn't understand why. I had so hoped to see her later with her babies but I guess now I never will.

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