Warning: This story doesn't have a happy ending.
For a long time now I've believed birds could teach us a thing or two about love and relationships. Living in the Marlborough Sounds we are surrounded in bush and therefore there are many birds. The main characters are tuis, wood pigeons, quail, thrush, sparrows and yellow finches. I have often fed them on our deck, only to stop when so many turn up for breakfast I need to buy bread especially.
Many types of birds mate for life and there are often mid air scraps or fights on branches resulting in one bird being shoved off - all because first there were two then a third bird arrives. I love watching the quails when their wee chicks are getting out and about. They come up our drive, one parent at the front of the line, the other at the back rounding up adventurous chicks.
Birds seem incredibly loyal to their mates and babies.
Two weeks ago I opened the curtains of our bedroom to see the view while we had our early cup of tea in bed. Onto the balustrade on the outer edge of the deck was a quail, strutting from one end to the other and back again. Over and over for about three hours. (I had long got up and got on with my day). All the time the bird was calling for his mate which never made an appearance. This happened for three days in a row, then he disappeared.
On another occasion I was driving along the road when I came across a dead tui in the middle of the road and its mate standing over it, squawking loudly. He moved to the side of the road until I'd crept past and then returned to stand over the deceased female.
Being a romance writer of course I see the romance in these situations. But I don't see my heroes strutting up and down my deck balustrade for days on end. Could be fun given how handsome I make them.
Have you had instances where you've observed such dedication with an animal or bird?