Thursday, March 29, 2012

American Avocet, Breeding Pair

A breeding pair of American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge where, for conservation purposes, fresh water and food was introduced into ponds separated from the salty, polluted waters of the Salton Sea by dirt berms. To mate, the male flies up into the air in a short hop and wing flap and attempts to land on top of the female bird, similar to ducks, but with a bit of aerial acrobatics involved. These two have full red-brown breeding plumage. Their normal Winter colors are grey, black and white. I will note, however, that some of the breeding pairs retained their Winter colors so the color change did not appear to be a prerequisite for Spring activity.

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