Thursday, May 23, 2013

Love for the Birds

Mr. Lark Bunting (top) and Mr. Bowerbird (bottom) have two very different ways to attract mates!
Have you ever heard of a male bird dressing up before going to mate with another female? I had the opportunity to meet this bird and it's called a Lark Bunting, it's the bird in a tuxedo. Now usually before mating season, these male birds have on light brown feathers. As mating season arrives, the birds sort of shed their feathers revealing black and white ones underneath. However the female lark bunting can be a bit particular about the fashion of tuxedos, each male is wearing.
        I went up and talked to one of the males as he was about to change into another "tuxedo."
       "Excuse me Mr. Lark Bunting," I said, "why are you going to change your 'tuxedo' after all it is very nice."
        "Yeah, it is," he admitted, "but its not what the female birds are looking for."
        "What do you mean?" I asked.
        "You see each year, the female birds have a different fashion taste," Mr. Lark Bunting explained, "kind of like humans, especially the girls. They always go out to the store to by the 'in' styles. Perhaps in public school, most of the students hang out with the the most stylish kids. Well last year, the female birds liked a certain look, and now this year they want something different."
        After Mr. Lark Bunting finished "dressing", he flew over to a nest and started to sing a song that included lots of whistles. I watched as a female bird flew over and went to inspect him. Then she flew away, Mr. Lark Bunting came back defeated. 
        "Oh well," he said sadly, "guess I'll have to wait next year. It's hard to find a mate. With all these different costume changes, it's all so confusing! I just can't win!"
           As I walked away, I found another bird, waiting for the approval of a female bird, these birds were bowerbirds.
         "Hello Mr. Bowerbird," I said, "what are you waiting for?"
         The black bird looked at me and then back at the female bird who was inspecting a nest.
Bowerbird's go to great lengths to make beautiful bowers for their mates.
         "I'm waiting to see if she likes my nest," he replied.
         "What for?" I asked, curious.
         "We, male bowerbirds, build bower-like nests when mating season comes. A female comes and inspects the nest and if she likes it, then she will be my mate. However, the female often goes and visits other nests but if she likes this one then she will keep returning to it until she makes her final decision." He explained.
          The female bowerbird flew over to us. 
      "I really like the colors you choose for the nest" she complimented, "I might come back."
      After she flew off, Mr. Bowerbird sang happily. 
     "We'll I've got to get going," I said, "it's getting dark. I hope she becomes your mate!"
     "Good bye!" Mr. Bowerbird replied as he flew away, "it was nice talking to you."
     I walked down the rode and back home. I grabbed my blue notebook and wrote down all the things I learned that day. I couldn't wait for the next day! Birds are extremely amazing if you just stop and watch them (they're not "bird brains", if you get my pun). As I was going to bed, I heard a soft caaw-caaw-caaw.

Written by: Lizzy Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond and Mr. Smiley


We here at Smiley’s News, I have been working night and day to get articles ready. I could really use some help! So we are looking for people interested in writing (especially kids and teens). If you are interested, PLEASE(!) send an email to and save me from working night and day! I’m exhausted!

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue: A Hairy Experiment

No comments:

Post a Comment