Its almost like she wears it. I can imagine she slips it over her head. A sweater made of moss 'n lichen - discreetly stitched with spider silk.
At the right angle, her iridescent feathers bloom into a rosy glow.
They do not hold a candle to the male's head dress. The female seeks solace in substance, rather than style.
She builds the nest, lays the eggs, protects and feeds the young and all the while working virtually non-stop. Who can blame a female if she occasionally needs to get away for a little "me-time". (Males seem to sit around and look pretty, until its time for a battle of egos.)
Stretching the neck seems like a good start. She looks up...
...and then she looks down - most likely with a cleansing breath.
She stretches the right foot...
...and then thoughtfully scratches her chin.
Then, she switches feet to do it again.
She even stretches her tongue. I have often wondered why a hummingbird will extend its tongue into the empty air. My first thought is, it must be similar to when we lick our lips - maybe a cleaning maneuver. I am curious whether they might be able to taste pollen in the air.
Then she does the classical wing & tail stretch.
This is followed by checking under her wing...
...and then an in-depth probing of ruffled feathers.
Surprisingly, her wings can be stretched down as well as up.
Next, we are treated to the full feather fluff.
This is followed by a ten feathered fan of the tail...
...and the don't-be-laughing-at-me look.
Ultimately, the me-time must come to an end.
A mother cannot be gone long.
There are mouths to feed.
A young bird is an eating machine...
...blindly devouring each drop of nectar placed deep within.
Only when the young have been satiated can a mother return to sitting pretty.
Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature lives in the city!
PS: A very special Thank You to everyone who responded with an email to Garrett - regarding the Marsh Island Trail.