Wednesday, April 13, 2011

American Avocet - What are you doing?

I am a big fan of American Avocets! (They are a big, easily distinguished shorebird with cool coloring, what's not to like?) So when I heard that dozens of them had been seen along with a Great Egret in Broomfield yesterday I decided to head over after work. The Avocets didn't disappoint, although the weather did, and the Great Egret was nowhere to be found.

When I arrived there were 15 or so of the birds spread between the three ponds. They were generally paired off, but seemed to still be sorting those associations out among one another. There was plenty of noise and commotion when six or more birds would get close to one another.

These shots had me wondering about this Avocet. American Avocets are ground nesters, and build their nest by first scraping and then lining a nest area on a clear area of shoreline. Or so Birds of North America Online tells me.

This bird seemed a bit early in the process though, and hopefully will give a bit more though to location. I would think that the multitude of predators in the area would make quick work of any eggs left on that bit of shoreline. My reading also indicated that males will do more nest searching early on, and that some of it is ritualized as a part of courtship. He, (if he is a 'he') seemed to be the only one showing off any digging skills. Hopefully his lady was impressed by his bravado, and will let him know that his poorly executed effort was appreciated!

I enjoyed watching these colorful birds, and hope a few of them do find good nesting spots in the area. The American Avocets were great to observe, but they had competition for my attention...

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