Slow Start

I’ve been in the slow start mode lately in the morning due to a hitch in my get-a-long, or the iron in my blood has turned to lead in my arse. It’s a good time to be a bit slow as the wind is still rocketing down the slough making being outdoors a bit of a chore after an hour or so. It appears the critters are tired of it as well, not many are in the wind along with me. When I don’t have the opportunity to snap a few shots I go back to editing; I did just that today.

I had 450 images of the Canadians, they need sorting out and while doing that I found many unpublished of very good quality. They are active birds during the early spring competing for mates; at least those without a lifetime partner are. The competition is stiff, often rogue flocks will land after which a real donny-brook breaks out. Ganders fighting one another while the female Geese (males are Ganders, females are a Goose) cheer them on and occasionally get involved themselves.

I have images of the battles but I’m not posting them today because the photos are a bit confusing at first glance. Most need a detailed explanation as to what we are looking at as they appear to be a mound of feathers in many instances. A sure way to alienate viewers is to leave them wondering just exactly what is that image portraying. It’s my goal to post those that tell at least part of the story and conjures up an emotion. The two first pictures to me display out of control egos, or hormones flowing over the top.

Canadians mate for life, unfortunately during the migration some lose one another either they die or become seriously injured. Upon arriving at their spring migration site the survivor will immediately begin the hunt for a replacement. They then continue on as if nothing happened there are more important things to think about. Nest building, breeding and raising the hatchlings are the top priorities; they have six months to complete the task.

They have what I consider a bit of an odd practice when a single bird begins to follow a mating pair around. They seem to adopt the lone Canadian forming a 3 bird pairing. I’ve witnessed it over the years it is quite fascinating as it appears number 3 will leave shortly after the eggs are laid. I suspect the mating pair runs the loner off as it does not re-appear for the rest of the season. I really don’t know, searching (King Google) is to no avail for me as I can find nothing on the subject. I have observed other birds engaging the same practice specifically the Hawks.

They fight constantly, they are loud about it as shown in the above picture, notice the one on the left has its beak open and in gear. That is what I see as their normal stance; it’s difficult to take an image with their beaks closes and them both silent. They make all sorts of different sounds not only the well known Honk Honk but squawks, chirps and squeals.

A few Canadians remain around here which makes me wonder if the wildfires and the heat wave up North have something to do with it. The largest wildfire in California is on the Eastern slope of the Sierra’s near the Nevada border. One thousand acres are on fire as I write this, unfortunately for those Eastward the smoke is being shared with the rest of the country. It’s the middle of July and we’re already up to our eyebrows in Alligators; it won’t get better any time soon.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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