Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Courtship Displays in Birds

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity, Wildlife, Nature, Behavior, Biological Evolution

Ed Hessler

The article, "How Do Birds 'Fall In Love'? A Look At Courtship Displays" from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology magazine's Living Bird, Spring 2020 by Marc Devokaitis has several videos of courtship displays. It also includes a few stills of some common backyard species showing a behavior with the suggestion that bird enthusiasts "Try looking for them...."

The phrase beginning the first line - "when birds hook up...." amped me up to a low grouchiness. Good grief! how we want to interpret nature in contemporary cultural terms. The disclaimer tries (tried in my case) to soften it, noting that this is a "Valentine-themed piece (and references) are in fun, and (to) take them with a grain of salt (or chocolate which I'd take, grouchy or not.).

Devokaitis's article is short yet comprehensive. It ends with a short note about using "breeding codes...a simple system of categories that indicate any confirmed or suspected breeding activity you notice" while watching birds in your backyard from a window or while on a bird walk. You learn how this information can be useful to ornithologists and "if you use eBird, the worldwide database of over 750 million bird sightings (at the time of writing), you can add breeding codes right into your checklists. 

If you find you want more information on using breeding codes, there is a link

Happy, late Valentine's Day 2023.

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