|The Whistle That Caught My Attention|
|Of Birds and Horses|
|Members of a Greater Colony|
|Not Exactly Black|
|The Black Bird and Her Horse|
Until this very moment, over my third cup of coffee on this last day in May, I never recognized the lady black birds. After all, they aren't really black nor do they have obvious red epaulets. Some of them might not even be ladies, but juvenile or non-mating males.
A bird I never pay attention to, other than to grumble at its propensity to ruin a good photo of the horses by being in the way, just puffed and whistled like the red-winged leader of the black bird pond colony.
All along, Elmira Pond has been swarming with black birds. Only the dominant male is so boldly red-winged.
Moments like this and I forget coffee, grabbing the camera. The lens helps me focus, to see what I might have missed. And there's a symbiotic relationship with the birds and horses on Elmira Pond that I was missing. The horses are part of the colony.
If my dogs, even leashed, come near the black bird territory, all fuss unfolds. If an osprey flies high overhead, two or three males dart heavenward to bully him past fishing here. Yet, the horses trod unharassed.
And the ladies and non-mating males accompany the horses. Some will sit on a warm backside to peck at flies and mosquitoes; others gather in a cluster around hooves gleaning seeds that drop from grazing muzzles.
It is an artistic system when you look at it. And here's your look--photos of birds and horses.