All feathered beings know that part of what ladybirds look for in a manly manbird is the ability to feather the nest.
The quality and quantity of nesting material is not a small thing – seeing as how it will be strategically positioned beneath the delicate bottoms of both the lady of the nest and her baby chicks.
For this reason, often ladybirds will require a suitor to actually display proposed nesting materials as well as to demonstrate their gathering and “materials defense” abilities.
An initial display of ferocious fierceness can accomplish two critical goals.
One – it will scare away competitors, and two – it will stun the nesting materials into fearful submission.
Competitors dispatched and nesting material cowed, you can then immediately proceed to the “collecting” stage.
Here, it is not just about grabbing a beak-full – selecting the finest, softest strands will also be key.
You will want to pull out each soft strand and peruse it thoroughly for quality (ladybirds are very impressed by “perusing”).
Once selected, you can then extract the chosen strands with the consummate skill of a master “nest featherer.”
You will also want to collect a good supply of soft, absorbent bedding for her newborn chicks.
While collection can be quicker at this stage, taking time to strip off smaller chunks ensures extra softness for eggs and newborns (ladybirds prize “extra softness”).
Once you have a beak full, all that is left is to await the horde of eager ladybirds.
Here, it is not unseemly to display a healthy helping of oh-so-masculine “cuteness” to speed the ladybirds on their way…..
Author: Shannon Cutts
Co-Author: Pearl Cutts
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