Friday, February 6, 2015

Let’s do it, let’s fall in love from Christine Goff

A Rant of Ravens
book 1
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

From the author of The Birdwatcher’s Mystery Series, I have a special valentine themed guest post that incorporates birds.

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by Christine Goff
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Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

Birds have always been equated with love, from creationist mythology to medieval poetry to modern times—particularly white doves. In Greek Mythology, Aphrodite (the goddess of Love), is often pictured with doves. In Judaism, doves are symbolic of purity, tenderness and hope. Christians traditionally use the dove as symbols of peace and love. Pagans, Native Americans, military and pacifist groups, the peace movement and even the Communist Party have used doves as a symbol.

But what made birds symbolic of love? It wasn't until the 14th Century that Geoffrey Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement of England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia entitled "Parliament of Foules" that love, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day were linked. By 1928, when Cole Porter wrote his popular song lyrics for "Let's Do It," birds were well-established case studies for courtship and love.

Doves are the perfect symbol for romance because they are monogamous. Unfortunately, they don't actually exist in the wild. They are in reality, a white variety of the Ringneck Dove, a small bird—not a strong flyer—that possesses a rather underdeveloped homing instinct. When you see "white doves" released at weddings, you're really witnessing white homing pigeons, who are stronger flyers and will return to their coop.

Lovebirds are also committed to one partner. This species of small parrot is native to the forests and savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. If you find them in the wild in the U.S., they're usually living in Arizona and escapees from an aviary.

But the truth is, birds are great role models for love. About ninety percent of the wild bird species are monogamous and mate for life.

Birds that do it in North America include:

Albatrosses. They usually don't hook up until they're eight or nine years old, but when they do, they stick together forever—and they've been documented to reach fifty years of age. They solidify their bond first by grooming each other, then performing a sort-of jousting ritual with their beaks, tapping them together in a choreographed dance.

Bald eagles. This majestic symbol of the Unites States stays together until "death do [us] part." Known to live as long as twenty-eight years in the wild, only if one dies will the other find another mate. Their spectacular courtship rituals include locking talons, flipping, spinning and twirling through the air, spiraling toward the ground and pulling out before the crash in what's commonly called a Cartwheel Display.

Whooping cranes. This bird, which neared extinction, is making a bit of a comeback. When they migrate north to their breeding grounds, they perform elaborate dance to choose the mates they will keep for their twenty-two to twenty-four years in the wild. The tallest birds in North America, to attract their partners, they will bow their heads, flap their wings, leap and bounce. They are not afraid to make a spectacle of themselves.

So, take a lesson from the wild and the promise of spring. "Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's fall in love."

~end

Guest post created by Christine Goff, author of The Birdwatcher’s Mystery Series
© 2015. All rights reserved.

About the author:
Christine Goff is the award-winning author of five environmental novels and a new international thriller series. The bestselling Birdwatcher's Mystery series. I was nominated for two WILLA Literary Awards, a Colorado Author's League Award, and published in the UK and Japan. Astor + Blue Editions is set release a new book in the Birdwatcher's Mystery series, A PARLIAMENT OF OWLS, in October 2015.

Find out more about this book and author:
Website
Goodreads
Twitter @christinegoff

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by Christine Goff
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READ The Birdwatcher’s Mystery Series...

A Rant of Ravens
book 1
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

In an attempt to escape hellish matrimony, Rachel Stanhope sojourns to her Aunt Miriam’s ranch in Colorado in search of some peace and comfort. As a favor to her aunt, a bird enthusiast, Rachel agrees to host meetings of the local birdwatching society. On her first expedition, however, instead of finding a LeConte’s sparrow, she makes a much more disturbing discovery: a dead body. Identified as a reporter for Birds of a Feather magazine, this man was trying to dig up troubling information on Miriam’s deceased husband and a bird trafficking scheme…and now sweet Aunt Miriam is the prime suspect in this fowl play.

Death of a Songbird
book 2
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Goodreads

A Nest in the Ashes
book 3
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Goodreads

Death Takes a Gander
book 4
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Goodreads

A Sacrifice of Buntings
book 5
by Christine Goff
Amazon | Goodreads

FYI: The next book in this series, A Parliament of Owls, will be released October 2015!

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