Here's Mom's favorite - posing for the camera:
|Snowy Plover, rocking the head-tilt!|
We saw lots of birds wading around, hunting for bugs -- like this guy:
Here's one of his relatives holding court with some Wilson's Phalaropes:
|"OK, listen up, everyone! The reason I called you all together ..."|
I'm not sure what his meeting was about, but except for the Phalarope on the left, they looked mighty interested in what he was saying!
Here's another Phalarope hanging out with a Sandpiper:
|Least Sandpiper and Wilson's Phalarope|
For those who may be wondering, I'm not sure if the Wilson in Wilson's Phalarope are related to the tennis ball guys.
We saw a few herons, like this one:
|Great Blue Heron|
But mostly, it was the Day of the Black-Necked Stilt. Here's a trio:
They look very serene and calm, but many of them were super agitated like this one:
|Black-Necked Stilt upset about something|
We learned that during breeding season, they are strongly territorial birds. So I guess what we saw was a bunch of mini turf wars.
This guy seemed much more laid back:
|Serene Black-Necked Stilt|
Much more in line with our tranquil theme!
Mom got fairly close to one of the many Egrets that we saw:
She was mighty happy about that.
And just when she was about to say how she sees a lot of Eastern Kingbirds at Quivira but not Westerns, she spotted this bird:
She should say things like that more often; maybe we'd see even more birdies!
We've shown you Ruddy Ducks before, but never with their signature blue bill! Check him out!
|Male Ruddy Duck|
Isn't that cool? They only get the bright blue bills during the Summer months - and then only the males get it!
Toward the end of our trip, we saw one of Mom's (and Cammie's) favorite birds. They are in the same family as Snowy Plovers. A couple weeks ago, we showed you a Snowy doing some nest-guarding behavior. Well, these guys are ACES at it! Without further ado ... I give you, ladies and gentlemen, the Killdeer!
|"Ow! Oh, I broke a wing! Ow! Look at me, the helpless one. Pay no attention to my nest!"|
They are extremely good actors - it was a very convincing display! They go the extra mile to distract potential predators away from their nests or babies. Mom (and Cam) find that behavior quite admirable!
To see more photos of this Academy Award-worthy performance and more birdies, please visit our FlickR album from last weekend at this link; we've also included a short film on Avocets and Stilts! (Two page album.)
To end this post on a totally serene note, here's a picture of me in the front garden:
|"You do have treats, right? Ah, yes. Yes, you do!"|
It has nothing to do with our trip or birdies, but I was feeling the serenity. Stay cool, everybody. And keep it serene.