Sunday, June 28, 2009
Hunka hunka burning love…
Photo credit Marv Breece
A few days ago I walked right into a swirling ball of birds too engrossed in their mating rituals to pay any attention to me. They would swoop to within a foot of the sidewalk and looked like some kind of barn swallow with green feathers on their backs. Some were carrying what appeared to be white chicken feathers. We happen to keep chickens and I was just a few hundred feet from my house.
I checked with a birder friend of mine who sent me these pictures and identified these birds as violet-green swallows. I had never heard of them before. The male birds were probably trying to impress the chicks with the chicken feathers. This is what I love about nature and biodiversity. There is no end to what you can discover.
A few weeks ago he also sent me an excerpt from an article in a birder magazine where the author was lamenting the fact that his favorite birding sites were being converted into cornfields to capitalize on the high price of corn caused by ethanol mandates. This had been Conservation Reserve land, which has not only been providing wildlife habitat, but has also been acting as a giant carbon sink for the United States.
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