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Avocets Breeding

Another wonderful spring bird is the American Avocet.

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For the first time, I saw nesting avocets.  Most were in the grass, which seems like a good way to hide from predators.

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But there was one crazy avocet who made her nest right on a pile of mud exposed in the water.

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I think I made her feel a little insecure, and it made her leave her nest.  This was taken with my 500mm, so I was pretty far away, but still, the nest was very exposed.  So I backed off.  When she got back on the nest, I noticed her brood patch.  If you’re not familiar, the brood patch is created when the bird rips out feathers on her chest so that the skin is in direct contact with the eggs to increase the warmth.  I’ve added an arrow so you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

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Their legs are so long, this seems like the only way to sit on a nest, but boy it looks awkward.

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Speaking of avocet eggs, Mia got some stunning shots of a coyote eating avocet eggs on Antelope Island.  It’s so conflicting because they’re amazing shots, but I’m sad about the loss of avocets.  I guess it’s good that it’s happening to them and not a more threatened species.

5 Responses to “Avocets Breeding”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Great series – even got the eggs, which pretty much resemble the mud. I love that I get to see our winter birds all nesty in spring via you!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    :-) They’re very dedicated. I hope to get back out and see baby avocets in a few weeks.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Yes – I will look forward to baby avocet shots!

  4. cindy says:

    I love avocets. Still need to see those in person.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    You really do! You don’t have to go to Utah to see them either. I saw them all the time in the Bay area. There’s even a birding ground called the Baylands in Palo Alto right among the law firms where they like to hang out.