Spring releases: If you have gotten bored with watching the same old movies during the cold days of winter be sure to look at these previews of the spring season.
The starring role of the picture above belong to the tall, svelte Sandhill Cranes. They love to dance, are flashy in appearance, they make sure that you know they are around with their exuberant voices and the camera loves them. They love to travel in the spring and fall and really rack up the frequent flyer miles. During the winter they fly south like some of the wealthy “snowbirds” where they put on shows for large audiences and the paparazzi. They never disappoint whether they are in the wilds of southern North America or when performing for smaller audiences of the north. Have I mentioned the camera loves them? Rumor has it that they will soon be making their first 2011 appearances in Utah.
Having spent the cold months gowned in white American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) develop a lovely delicate apricot blush prior to their first spring sequel. They have enchanting curves, long willowy legs which combined with their graceful ballet style movements makes them show stoppers. Although they prefer to perform on the shores of inland lakes and marshes during the summer they do occasionally like to stroll and play in the shallow water. They prefer to perform during daylight hours when the natural light shows them at their best and by nature they are not “night owls”.
Dark, dramatic and powerful with piercing eyes Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) take the center stage of lakes and ponds in early spring. Often cast in the role of a villain because of their intense gaze, their moody looks and the way they spread their wings like Dracula’s cape. Personally I find their actions extremely interesting and they strike some fascinating poses.
The aerial performances of the Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus) spring time courtship displays start at sunrise in the open grasslands of Utah. Their whistling call is hauntingly beautiful and the flashes of cinnamon under their wings are eye catching. Our largest shorebird in North America, they are graceful and uniquely interesting. Their acts combine breathtaking acrobatic dives and fluid aerial movements at speeds that make the Cirque du Soleil pale in comparison. I’m anxiously awaiting the premier of the beauties this spring and they always get a “two thumbs up” from this audience member.
While large, ungainly and lumbering on land American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) are very adept at synchronized swimming in large groups and their dinner matinees are great to see. They love to soar in the sky too by forming large circular groups whirling up towards the clouds on the thermals, higher and higher until they disappear from sight. Landings and take offs are exciting to see. Their black and white plumage makes them easy to spot from long distances and this wanna be paparazzi can not resist clicking the shutter button when they arrive in town.
Small but pugnacious Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) are quick to voice their displeasure if the audience is too close, I sure wouldn’t want them to chew my ear off. They are rough, tough and don’t care much about their appearance if the leftovers on their bills are any indication. Though their size is the equivalent of a welter-weight these shrikes show that they have the spirit of a much larger and stronger competitor and do not hesitate to get right in the face of anyone infringing on what they call their territory. They will get right into your face if you cross the line. They are; however, a delight to see in action and I wouldn’t want to miss many of their lofty performances.
These are just a small selection of the cast and characters of the upcoming Spring Season in Utah, there will be many more of our fine feathered friends making appearances who will fascinate, delight, titillate and amuse us. Stay tuned for the best shows on earth, Nature Unleashed
Nothing that Hollywood produces is as exceptional as the show we are about to see!