Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mating Dances

Thursday morning I was a little late for work, because I had to stop and watch from the upstairs window as two pheasants pursued each other in a nice little mating ritual. Now that everything is scorched black and barren, these things take place out in the open. The male pheasant had its tail feathers outspread, and chased the female, who ran coyly a short distance and stopped. He stopped short of her and waited, then made a fuss running up to her again. She again let him get right up close and then ran on. This was all out in the open, around the blackened plot. Finally she ran into the tall grass, and he didn't follow. He walked along the edge and pulled his tail feathers in. I never saw a pheasant with his tail feathers extended. It was not terribly colorful and dramatic-- they actually look more beautiful in their normal state, with the tail features extended back like a road runner and their sleek heads.

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