Saturday, July 7, 2012

Coping With The Heat

Like almost everyone else in this country, we're in the middle of an epic heat spell.  Fortunately most of us have air conditioning and many are able to visit pools and beaches to cool off.

But not all citizens of this earth have the same options and opportunities.  I've recently observed some rather unusual behavior among the neighborhood wildlife and I suspect it's heat related.

Take this bunny, for example.  I suspect she found a shady spot where we'd recently watered the .... weeds and found that by stretching out on the cooler grass, she could cool off a little bit.
So that made me wonder about this posture that I've seen bluebirds assume before.  I always wondered why they did it and now I suspect they're trying to cool off too.

It's really disturbing to see, isn't it; but I can assure you that after a few minute's breather, he flew off.  I've read that the bluebird might be showing off his brilliant colors in order to attract a mate or that he might be playing dead for some reason but I don't really subscribe to either of these theories since this guy already has a mate whose sitting on his four eggs in their nest box and I can't think why he'd want to play dead.

I wonder if another possibility might be to look formidable.  A picture I snapped a couple of minutes later shows another bird on the scene.  It looks like a young bird to me so I want to think this dad is trying to offer protection to one of his youngsters on the ground but it doesn't look like a bluebird fledgling to me.  So maybe this guy is trying to scare off the interloper.  That doesn't really fit either because I've seen the brave little bluebirds attack much larger birds and they're not only brave and tenacious but relentless.

So, it's back to the cooling off theory.  Perhaps he should have just visited the old watering hole like these guys.  Obviously, all he'd have to do is sit there while another bird takes a bath and he'd be the recipient of a nice, cool shower.

Here's hoping this hot, dry spell ends soon.  Although in about 6 months we'll be wishing it were back.

1 comment:

  1. That has got to be one of the strangest things I've ever seen! I think if I saw I bird sprawled out on the ground like that, I would for sure think he was dead! How cool that you caught that shot....I love the bird bath pics, too!


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