Friday, February 12, 2021

Seeing pink

For me, living in NYC, February is traditionally the dreariest month. Spring is in sight, but still far away, holidays are over, and the weather is usually cold an cloudy. We've had a lot of gloomy gray days recently, so I thought I'd warm things up by slipping into a pink mood.

First up, a flirty Roseate Spoonbill:

Roseate Spoonbill

Could it be smiling?


Check out those pink legs. What a cheery creature.


What other pink birds are there? Probably the most famous is the American Flamingo:

American Flamingo

Then there's the lesser-known and rarely seen East Village Flamingo:

2015 Drag March

Other than these two, I couldn't think of an example of another pink bird. There are many red birds, but pink is a much rarer find in nature.

Looking more mauve than pink, I enjoyed the antics of this Reddish Egret who put on a show as it actively hunted for fish along a beach.

Reddish egret

All of the photos above (except for the EV Flamingo, which was in Tompkins Square) were taken on a pre-pandemic trip to Florida, and this egret ended up being one of my favorite birds observed during the visit.

Reddish egret

It's not quite pink, but this Eastern Bluebird has a rosy orange chest that gives it a warm glow.

Eastern Bluebird

Male House Finches are described as red, but can look pinkish in a certain light.

House Finch

This is a similar-looking Purple Finch, who doesn't look purple at all.

Purple finch

If you're going to be a red bird, go RED, like this Summer Tanager.

Summer tanager

Maybe I have pink on my mind because Valentine's Day is this weekend and there are pink and red decorations and gifts in shop windows. It's also the time of year - despite being cold and gloomy - that birds start to display mating behavior. 

Below, a Cedar Waxwing feeds its partner a berry. Sweetness.

Cedar Waxwings

I went digging in my archives and came up with a photo of one more pink bird, seen right here in the city.


Blessing of the animals

This chick was one of the animals being blessed at the Feast of St Francis at St John the Divine

The color pink is said to have a calming effect on people. When I see it, I feel happier and hopeful. Birds have been found to see a much wider range of color than we do, so I have to wonder what they see when they look at each other, or when the sun goes down and turns the sky brilliant colors. Can they see this muted color as we do, are are they seeing much, much more?


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