Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sure, that's a Shorebird.....

...



Shorebirds have have all sorts of adaptations that allow them to exploit the fertile border between land and sea. They often have long, probing bills so that they can harvest the small critters that live in the wet sand and mud at the water's edge.




So how does one explain this lot? We were out biking with a ranger from the East Bay Regional Parks, and I spotted these doves, picking their way along the shore between Alameda and Bay Farm Islands. There were four stark white doves, doing nothing I've ever seen a dove do.*

Clearly, there's a magician somewhere in the Bay Area who is looking for his doves.




And then there's the little matter of bay side crows. We see a fair amount of crows on rocky shorelines. They look so comical, but are probably doing very well for themselves. Crows, after all, are highly intelligent omnivores, ready to explore any possible food source.



*We won't talk about the less romantic relative of the dove, the urban pigeon, who seems to have a cannibalistic streak, and can often be seen eating discarded fried chicken.

3 comments:

shiloh said...

Talking about a canabalistic fowl,I have a friend with two parrots.He said one of the funniest sites is when he give one of them a chicken leg. The parrot will stand on it's perch with one foot and hold the chicken leg with the other.

Anonymous said...

These poor doves obviously are refugees from one of those dove-releases for weddings & baptisms. They are supposed to "home" back to their release point but often become confused. They have no outdoor instincts and quickly become prey for hawks etc. I'll never forget last year on Easter Sunday monring we found a white dove- actually a King Pigeon, looks very similar but longer bill and bigger chest- sitting on a park road guardrail just below a tree snag that houses our resident red-shoulder hawk. It was so tame the 8 year old kiddo walked over & picked it up and we took it to Animal Care & Control. They said these birds are ground nesters, due to the big chest they don't really fly that well and quickly become prey for feral cats, hawks etc. It was very thirsty and hungry, poor thing. So symbolic, to rescue a white dove on Easter morn! Hope these four managed OK!
Suzi of SuziLivvi

Jamuudsen said...

Very interesting. I saw some red crossbills that appeared to be feeding on the shore today. A couple of locals told me they had been at it every day since January.

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