2023—That Birds and Bees Thing

It’s spring, time for that Birds and Bees thing to begin. Now is the time for courting, selecting mates, and building nests. Twigs play a big part in the spring-time behavior of the Snail Kite. Snail Kites use sticks and branches to construct a large bulky nest in a low tree or shrub near their feeding area. But, male Snail Kites also carry a twig as part of the courting ritual to present to a female. Whichever purpose this unbanded male had in mind, we had the privilege of watching something that probably happens often in the springtime here but is probably not observed by many. After this bird finished shredding and eating several snails in a row, he hopped to a twiggy shrub. In the first image, he’s found a twig that interests him. In the second, he breaks it free, and in the final image, he flies away with it. Whether it was to be used to interest a mate or to enhance a nest, it was one of the many “wow!” moments I’ve had this week.