Date: 3/3/17 10:00 am
From: Deibert, Pat <pat_deibert...>
Subject: thoughts of spring (and you thought I was exaggerating about hummingbirds....)
hello all -

no observations to share, but I have many thoughts of spring as the bright
sun and lack of wind provide a brief respite from winter. I came across
this today and thought I'd share. Its a fascinating and short read about
the Aztec culture who revered hummingbirds as their god of war. You will
see that I am right to be intimidated by the little beasts. Enjoy!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2015/08/19/hummingbird_aggression_fierce_deadly_fights_for_territory_nectar_feeders.html

Another sign of spring is the gathering of sage-grouse on leks to continue
their ancient instinctive mating ritual (which many native american
cultures also highly revere - so many lessons to be learned there). On
March 20 a lek cam hosted by the nature conservancy will be online every
day from 6 to 10 a.m. for your viewing pleasure. The camera is at ground
level and has audio so you can "bird" by ear as well as enjoy the show. I
am one of about 4 folks who gets to "drive" the camera - it is truly a
privilege (and also feels exceedingly decadent - I mean I'm controlling the
camera from inside a warm house, with a ready supply of freshly brewed
coffee and at least one if not two dogs at my slippered feet. My indoor
kitties can also enjoy - and their attacks on the computer screen harm
nothing). Why am I telling you now? because I am likely to forget so
welcome a "gentle" reminder by any of you with better memories to make sure
I share the link.

While watching a lek in your home is awesome, its no substitute for getting
out to see an actual lek. The early rise, patient approach and wait for
the sun, chilled fingers, and brisk wind only enhances the amazing
experience of watching and hearing these fascinating birds. Knowing I am
seeing the same dance observed by human inhabitants a few hundred years ago
sends chills down my spine (that cannot be attributed to the snow coming in
the truck window). Powdered sugar donuts and strong coffee aren't bad
additions either....

Cannot wait!!! Happy birding - Pat, in the burbs of Buford.
 
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