He brought her delicacies from the sea. O.K. The lake. Time and time again, he would swoop down to the water and come up with a fish for her.
And every time she would accept his offering. This continued for many minutes. She patiently waited on the dock for his return. Sometimes she basked in the noonday sun or she might preen and do ladybird primping. But she waited no matter how long he took to return.
And each time the scene repeated itself.
Suddenly the rules changed. This game of courtship had a definite agenda. He did not offer her the fish but kept it secured in his beak. She must have known the game plan as she did not fly away but actually assisted him in his efforts.
All the while eyeing the delectable treat he was flaunting…knowing it would be hers in a matter of seconds.
Uh oh! Game change. Much to her surprise, the male Least Tern finished what he was doing and flew off …with the fish still secured in his beak. So typical of the male of any species.
All text and images by Sharon Weaver