A Behavioral Note

There are no points for brains when it comes to testosterone. During breeding season, some male birds repeatedly attack their own reflections. They think the reflections are other males. I’ve seen a Rudy-crowned kinglet go after himself in a highly reflective sculpture.Towhees are known for it this, too. This one did it to a line of half a dozen parked cars. This bird was probably nesting or wanting to nest nearby and so wanted all the rest of the Towhees out of the way. Interestingly, he repeatedly flew in from the front end of the vehicles, one after another. The mirrors are pointed backwards, of course, so the bird must have known that it would find “other” birds there. He was particularly obsessed with our car, which had its rear-view mirrors turned inward for parking, NYC-style. There was’t much space in there, and the reflection was pointed inward, yet again and again he flew into the gap.It was hard to get a perch on this weird, shiny, blue towhee…This amok-time is brief, thankfully, since it can be dangerous for the bird. Some things to do about it.

And another milestone: on May 11th, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere went about 415 ppm for the first time in human history. “Human history” here is not just the few thousand years of written history, it is the history of Homo sapiens. Human beings didn’t exist the last time there was this much CO2 blanketing the planet.

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