Earlier this month I was able to photograph a pair of American Avocets in the marshes of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and watch them as they fed side by side and to observe how they reacted to another pair of avocets that flew into their territory.
The pair of American Avocets were feeding in the grasses and the water right next to the edge of the grasses when I first saw them then the female squatted down on what I presume to be their nest. I say “presume” because I could not see eggs due to the height of the grasses in front of the avocet but when the female settled down into the grass I noticed her moving her chest back and forth and I have seen that behavior before when avocets switch places during incubation.
When the other pair of avocets flew in both of these avocets got up and started moving towards the other pair and the intruding avocets moved quickly away from them. I was quite a distance from the presumed nest, the pair of avocets in my images and even further away from the intruding avocets.
I wanted to include this photo because it shows the female in the front and the male in the back to highlight the differences in their bills, the bills of female American Avocets are more curved than the bills of the males.
It won’t be long before there will be tiny American Avocet chicks running around in the marshes at the refuge but they have such cryptic plumage as chicks that they can be very difficult to see because they blend right into the habitat. They are far easier to see as adults!
Life is good.