Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 16, 2011

Loggerhead Shrikes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 6:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Loggerhead Shrike (google image)

At the end of our long day in the field, the Loggerhead Shrike posed on its perch just long enough for us to get a definitive ID. Swooping to the ground, he nabbed a grasshopper, and in a flash was at another perch by a female. He leaned down to her branch, presenting it to her gallantly, and she cocked her head and appreciatively received it before he flew off to hunt some more. It was the most tender transaction of the day.

I realize that by inserting those adverbs and that adjective I am anthropomorphizing, but I can’t help myself. I would never assign emotions in a scientific research report, but this is my blog, for crying out loud, and those two birds were in love. They needed to cement their relationship before proceeding with nest-building, as she needs to know he’ll be a good provider for their babies. Besides, he didn’t have a Facebird account on which he could put that little red heart status icon saying “Loggerhead is in a relationship,” so he resourcefully used what was at hand.

Tricia and I said “Awwww!” in unison on seeing the sweet gift bestowed, and I typed two paragraphs documenting it. Welcome to the hearts of women. If I were a man writing about this event, I’d say: “Saw Loggerhead Shrike pair exchange food.”

Here’s your opportunity to weigh in on male/female communication contrasts. Or Loggerhead Shrikes, if you prefer.

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