Waterloo County, ON
6 March 2015
Every day, or so it seems, I see evidence of spring in the behaviour of birds.
This shot shows two Red-tailed Hawks Buteo jamaicensis perched in a tree in close proximity to each other.
For most of the year, these raptors are solitary creatures, and the smaller male approaches the female with trepidation. She is up to one third larger and heavier and if she is not pleased with his advances can inflict serious injury to him. It is only when their hormonal stimulation is in sync that pair bonding can be achieved.
I believe this bird to be the female of the pair.
Pretty soon they will be seen side by side on a branch, a prelude to mating and nest site selection.
This male Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis was singing for all his worth when I first spotted him, but, exhausted perhaps by the effort, settled down for me to take this photograph.
I have already seen and heard Black-capped Chickadees Poecile atricapillus
and Mourning Doves Zenaida macroura courting.
Soon the southern migrants will start to arrive and the air will be filled with song. I can barely wait!