LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ladybirds

I have always been particularly fond of female birds. They really have a difficult life what with most of the nest building, egg laying, rearing the young. And many of them have several broods every summer and then migrate a long distance for the winter. They often look quite exhausted at the end of the summer.

Here are a few of my favorite lady birds:

The female Red Crossbill isn't red at all. Her mate is a vibrant red while she is a muted grayish green.


The female Eastern Towhee is a bright bird, but her hood is a warm reddish brown while her mate's hood is deep black.

The female Downy Woodpecker is very similar to the male except that she has no red on the top of her head.

The female Ruby-throated Hummingbird doesn't have a ruby red throat at all.



The female Pileated Woodpecker is very similar to the male. Whereas the male has a red line off the base of his bill, she has a black line.

Many female birds are quite plain in contrast to their brilliant mates. But there is beauty in all of them.



18 comments:

Dog_geek said...

Beautiful pictures - the female birds may not be as flashy as their male counterparts, but they are still beautiful!

KB said...

I love your photos! I especially admire the female birds, like the hummingbird, whose mates don't help in the slightest with the babies. In hummingbirds, the father will even chase his mate away from 'his' territory - e.g., a feeder. It's crazy.

Rudee said...

It's liberating not to have to be so flashy all of the time and in so being, still have the power to turn the boy's heads. I am reminded of the male birds of paradise struggles to get the girls to notice them. How exhausting it all must be.

KGMom said...

I wonder why that is--that in the bird world mostly the males strut their stuff, and the females are so demur in appearance.
Quite the opposite in the human arena, no?

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great photos of the females, Carolyn. I especially like that Towhee. We had some earlier in spring but haven't seen any lately.

I think the females ought to be the beauitfully colored birds insteat of the males (since they do most of the work)... Oh Well--guess we have to enjoy their own beauty as it is!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

George said...

Thanks for the primer on lady birds -- I often have trouble identifying the ladies, but your photos will be a big help.

Cedar ... said...

And it's the ladies that get the job done! Go girls!

Cheryl said...

I think they are very beautiful......I love the softness, that can often be seen with the female birds.......

Are they not like woman the world over??

Rae* said...

The guys always get the credit but the girls always do the work. I guess bird society is just like the human version. Great photos.

robin andrea said...

I love the subtly of the female colors. They don't have to be showy, just full of that secret power to lay eggs. All the males flip for that.

dAwN said...

Lets hear it for the girls! yahoo..
Nice photos!

Shellmo said...

I agree with you - they have their own sweet beauty! The female grosbeak is one of my favorites!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I always love to come here ans read each post and see the beautiful pictures...Smiles..m.

Bird Girl said...

A point well taken, Carolyn! These female birds just don't get enough attention - they ARE beautiful, aren't they? I'm glad you thought to post this and I enjoyed seeing that wonderful crossbill!

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Carolyn...your up close pics are wonderful! Thanks!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments. I've often wondered how the males determine which female to persue. We know females look for color, display, song, etc. But what criteria do the males have? Or do they just look for anyone willing to accept them?

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

So nice of you to post for the ladies, Carolyn! We, myself included, often forget them due to their lack in color. Very nice post!!

Cicero Sings said...

Not only lady birds! I marveled at how hard those African women worked when I spent a few months there. And the men ... they lollied under the tree a talked!