Friday, July 31, 2009

Free-Form Friday

The latest update on large beast watching. Today, on both sides of the river, the cattle were randomly spaced through the pastures. They were turned in all directions, contentedly munching grass. Many of them were lying down and they were scattered in random configurations. Hearkening back in my store of memories, I recalled that this odd behavior had also been evident last Friday and on more contemplation, I realized that, apparently Fridays are free days when the cows, calves, steers and bulls are not required to conform to any particular grazing patterns. Nor or they required to eat or drink together. So, I am designating Fridays henceforth to be known as 'Free-Form Friday'.

I also noticed that in certain fields, a few randoms cows had collecions of cowbirds grazing with them. In a field of perhaps 50 to 100 head of almost identical Black Angus beeves, only one or two cows would have bird companions. (Cowbird is the common name for white cattle egrets.) The question that immediately came to mind was: Why there were select cows with the birds in evidence, while the vast majority of cows had no accompanying birds? I had to give this some thought before coming to the conclusion that the birds were in it strictly for themselves. They seemed to congregate around the larger, more energetic beasts. After some logical angling, I have come to believe that the larger, more aninmated animals (pardon the pun) stir up more insects for the birds to consume, thus the seemingly odd behavior of cattle egrets. The only other explanation is that the birds are expensive and only the well-to-do cows can afford them or, perhaps, the cows attracting the birds charge less for providing dinner.... hmmmmmm. What do you think?

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