Sunday, May 22, 2011
A Forest Cardinal
I was walking along the trail towards the back of the park when two birds flew in front of me lower than usual. It reminded me of the whole incident with two woodpeckers I told you about a few weeks ago. The woodpeckers were fighting, but I don't think that was the case with the cardinals.
I really only got these pictures of the male cardinal, but the female was there too. She hid on the other side of the tree. What I have always found interesting about these birds is that the male is so recognizable in his scarlet red suit, but the female is a grayish brown color.
Most male mammals are marked by a bigger body with more hair, and some have a sort of distinctive decoration, like a bull's horns. But what about humans? We don't consider males to be the pretty ones. But I wonder what other animals think. Maybe we all have it backwards. Maybe human women trying to make themselves pretty is all for nothing, never coming close to the beauty of men. We men have the ability to grow a beard for decoration. Do women? (Go ahead and think up a few evil jokes now.)
Or maybe it's the other animals that we are wrong about. Most females of any species are finer boned than males. Humans consider that to be a sign of delicate feminine beauty. I'd bet that other animals feel the same about females of their species. We see the male decoration of other species as beautiful, but maybe they see those decorations as big and obnoxious. Exactly as we think of male humans.
What do you think of all of this? Does this change your opinion about what beauty really is? Because I am male, I still consider females to be the more beautiful humans. But now when I apply those traits to other animals my perception has changed a bit. I now see the beauty of a female bird that I used to think only had a dull brown color.
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