Monday, May 12, 2008

Out on the Trail


Robb has been going through an uncomfortable phase, but we'd rather not dwell on that.

How about baby animals, instead?

American Avocets are large, slender wading birds with elegant long (grey-blue!) legs. Robb and I were out on the Hayward portion of the Bay Trail, and a bird-watching gentleman with a fancy spotting scope alerted me to the presence of this little family.

Mom and Dad are still sporting the unmistakable peachy-tan necks of their breeding plumage. The little ones don't look particularly like Avocets at all. I didn't manage to capture a photo of it, but they already have long grey-blue legs like their parents. Their bills have a long way to grow, still.

Related to American Avocets are the Black Necked Stilts. Proportionate to their body size, these birds have the longest legs in the animal kingdom. But you wouldn't guess that, looking at this brooding parent.

You can see why birds like this are at risk when they are nesting. Nothing's protecting those eggs, or their skinny parent. I imagine that a lot of the young die as a result of predation.

But that's not a very cheerful though. Time for more pretty nature pictures!

Willets are rather drab wading shorebirds. They are quite common around here. We love them, because when they fly, they show a beautiful pattern of black and white on their wings.

Looking at these dull grey shorebirds, you would never suspect that their flight could be so showy!


Marcie said...

Awww... I love the baby avocets!

Last week I went out to Big Break for Thursday birding. It never fails - the naturalist will set up his scope, one of the birds will feel cooperative, and I'll be blown away by the colors and figure of the bird. This time it was a white-tailed kite, which we'd witnessed in some serious warfare with a crow, but then the kite settled onto a treetop where we were able to see its stunningly-bright clean whiteness.

MommaWriter said...

Ohhh...I've seen plenty of avocets, but never baby avocets. How adorable are they?

(WyndRyders #2)


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