While this is the week we traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is also that special time of year in the wildlands where birds of south Texas are finding their springtime mates. Richard Moore takes us out where birds are bonding.
It is an extraordinary time of year in deep South Texas, as birds are lovingly forming pair bonds as they prepare to nest and raise young.
This pair of Roseate spoonbills affectionately rubs their sensitive bills together in what might best be described as an avian kiss.
In the brush country, a male Cardinal dutifully shares a tidbit with his mate in a time-honored bonding ritual.
Soon, Great egrets will be soaring in to join their mates in communal nest building. Great egrets form monogamous pairs each breeding season, though it is not known whether the pair bonds last through multiple years.
Some birds form pair bonds for life. These majestic White-tailed hawks have shared a territory in the ranch country north of Raymondville for years, often choosing a favorite thorny ebony where they have raised young before.
Scissor- tailed flycatcher’s work as a team, and when you have four hungry mouths to feed it sure helps to have both parents delivering groceries.
Altamira orioles also share “child-rearing” duties, and with probably three or four youngsters tucked down in the swaying basket of a nest lots of insects are required.
However, when it comes to pair bonding, parrots seem to share the most affection. This pair of Red-crowned parrots intimately grooms throughout the day on a branch just outside their nest hollow in an old cottonwood.
Their remarkable devotion to one another is evident in the joy and satisfaction they share as they lovingly preen.
What better time than spring to find the one who will watch every sunrise with you until the sunset of your life.