Friday, March 13, 2015

An American Avocet and the Stages of Relaxation...

This is a bird that understands gravity. The American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) is a common sight near freshwater ponds and marshes in the American west, although it suffered population declines during the 1960s and 1970s due to wetlands destruction, and the buildup of selenium in some areas. They are doing better these days.

I was watching this one working hard at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge the other day, and found myself fascinated by its long legs. It's gotta be tiring walking on stilts all the time. My attention was drawn to another bird that looked the same, but with much shorter legs. I realized it was another Avocet, but it was resting on its knees.
Finally there was a third bird that didn't look like the other Avocets, but that was because its bill was hidden. The bird was finally in a state of full relaxation, all folded up!

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