Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pale Male and Pale Beauty Signature Postures, Parrot Pellets, Quicksilver, and the Hwy 59 Red-tail

Photo courtesy of www.palemale.com/
I've been looking at Pale Male and Pale Beauty for behavioral differences and I realized today that though they are very similar in coloration the way they hold their bodies at rest is sometimes very different.

Pale Male on the left sits in one of his signature poses. Sometimes it's the right foot and sometimes the left but we've all noticed that Pale Male likes sitting with one foot up or stretched out in front of him with his foot curled. He often has a look of focus though physically relaxed, of holding his fire, until the moment in which he'll suddenly tense, and burst off into flight.

Look at Pale Beauty on the right. She's slightly larger, and takes a more upright stance, belly out, neck back but head forward.

Notice that the pair is spending time perched on the Carlyle. In the past it has been a frequent spot for copulation, which should start soon.

While Pale Male and Pale Beauty were perching on the Carlyle, I was making a made dash in the car, through- you guessed it, yet another snow storm, to buy Tropical Fruit Nutri-berries.

What are Nutri-berries? Nutri-berries are these little specially parrot in mind, vitamin-enriched seed and dried fruit balls stuck together with canola oil and syrup that Quicksilver eats. And a good thing as otherwise Silver would be spending his eating life, cadging butter out of the butter dish, stealing pork chops off other people's plates, tearing holes in the bottom of the sunflower seed feed bag, crunching chicken bones for their marrow, with a few bites of apple, carrot, and broccoli thrown in for variety.

The vet once suggested we switch Silver to parrot pellets as they'd supposedly be so good for him. I'm not at all fond of the idea of feeding an animal totally on processed food but the vet was pretty insistent we at least give it a try. Fine.

The idea was to only present Silver with pellets, until he started eating them. By the third day of his eating nothing, dumping his pellets in the floor, and having an
extremely angry parrot on my hands, I decided to eat some parrot pellets in front of him, tell him how yummy they were and see if that would help. I threw a few of the multi-colored units into my mouth and crunched--dry, dusty, and no flavor whatsoever.

Would I want to eat these for the rest of MY life?

Not a chance.

Back to Nutri-berries and people food we went. But at this point, snow or no snow, we were at the bottom of the Nutri-berry bag so off I went cross county in the snow. And that is how I ran across the Highway 59 Red-tail.

He was sitting on a power pole. I saw him, (Oh Boy!), drove past. and then pulled onto the verge of the road, grabbed the camera, and got out. I didn't even have the camera to my eye and he was off the pole...

..and doing a curved fly-by to check me out.

He increased the curve...

...flew over the farm granary, (The granary is quite possibly the reason he's in this spot, as if you have grain, you have rodents.)

...headed down the sight line of the power cable...

and headed for the top of the next power pole down. This hawk appears to have "eyes" on his back.

Then he gave me the eye. I realized that if I stayed he might be scared off and loose his only chance at food this late in the day with all the deep snow.

I retreated. I do hope he got dinner.

Silver did.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

Is Pale Beauty (too many syllables for me, I was getting kind of fond of Pearl, and then I realized it probably resonated because a friend has a cat named Pearl :-) bigger than Pale Male?

I know that's supposed to be true, but in that photo she looks smaller.

I am unable to tell male and female mourning doves from one another when they're on my deck. Ditto squirrels unless they're, ah, in certain positions. It would be nice to be able to do that, so I wouldn't have to do the he/she thing all the time.