February 6, 2015
- as seen by -William G. Conway
Valentine’s Day gifts were first associated with romantic love by couples in the Middle Ages, but the avian practice of giving gifts to loved ones goes back millions of years.
It need be no more than a bit of fluff with which to line a nest but when passed from a spectacular red-legged cormorant to his mate at a nest site on a cliff high above the crashing waves of the cold south Atlantic, it says, “I love you!” and promises another generation.
Much too close to the 200 foot cliff’s edge, my photography consisted of trying to steady the tripod against extraordinarily violent winds, and hoping they wouldn’t blow me over.
Perhaps 30,000 individuals of this beautiful and near threatened species are left, thinly distributed over southern South American coasts.
After one look, the couple decided I wasn’t worth watching. They were.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Take a great photo of red in nature and submit it to the blog. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating the color red in this month’s assignment.