Pic for Today: Display! Happy Sunday.
Many of the Great Egrets at the wild bird rookery at the St Augustine Alligator Farm already have chicks in the nest, some at least 3 weeks old, but there are also still male Egrets in full breeding display…apparently attempting to attract a mate. They might have come late to the party, or they might be young birds in their first mating cycle and still learning the ropes, or they my have been unsuccessful on the first round and are making a brave show in hopes of still finding a female willing…or they may just be stimulated by all the Snowy Egrets just coming into display around them. Whatever the reason, I am always amazed by the grace and beauty of the Great Egret in display. The delicacy of the breeding plumage, only deployed once a year, the arch of the neck, the single minded concentration implied by the pointing bill, the energy of the dance the male preforms…it is truly eye-catching, breath catching, wonder inducing…and I am not even a female Egret!
Nikon P900 at 380mm equivalent field of view. Program with -1/3 EV exposure compensation. Because the dance is so energetic, you have to zoom back you to keep the bird in the frame even at its most extreme gyrations, so this is slightly cropped from the full frame. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
And for the Sunday thought…well all I can say is that anyone who believes this display, and the feathers and the body that support it, evolved by chance mutations and survival of the fittest has a lot more “blind faith” than is required for me to believe that what I see here is the work of a loving creator. Just saying. I can not believe that such beauty evolved…any more than I can believe that it is an accident that both female egrets and human beings can, apparently, appreciate it. It is a matter of wonder…and gratitude. Happy Sunday!