Friday, November 11, 2011

Pheasants' Un-seasonal Spar

Birds and animals often confuse Autumn with Spring, simply because the days are roughly the same length. But this month has been so mild there have been more than the usual mistakes.
The toads in my pond have begun croaking and I've heard plenty of small birds singing. The most conspicuous confusion, however, has been among the pheasants who have been sparring out in the fields.
I watched a pair last week. They began by walking up and down along invisible boundary lines.

They then turned and faced one another.
And, since neither backed down, began to spar.
Interestingly, when a sparrowhawk flashed overhead, they both pulled up short.

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