Monday, July 7, 2014

Tybee Oystercatcher Update 7/7/14

I went to the North Beach last night and as I walked towards the point, an adult American Oystercatcher flew by me carrying food. "Oh, goodie," I thought. "They are still here."
Both parents and both young adults were on the beach. HH was following one parent around while HJ was resting on the beach with the other parent nearby.
HH follows the parent in begging posture.
Eventually, HJ and the adult flew (yes both flew!) down the beach to join the other pair.
They were all together for a few minutes, before two birds - HJ and an adult - took off across the water towards Lazaretto Creek. HJ is a little larger and more mature than HH.

HH & one adult remained on the beach. After about 10 minutes, I saw a small group of 4 American Oystercatchers fly by the point, calling loudly. As I snapped pictures, the adult from the beach joined the group and they headed around the point towards the rock jetties.

4 adult oystercatchers fly by, calling loudly

They are joined by the parent from the beach.

As I study my photos, I realize that one of the four has a red band. It can't be HJ because it has an all orange bill (the juvenile birds have bills that are dark on the tip) and it has a bright orange eye ring.
Also, the metal band is on the right leg and HH & HJ have theirs on the left leg.

This leaves HH all alone on the beach. It hunkers down for awhile, then eventually makes its way back to the rope enclosure, looking a bit forlorn.
HH waits for its family to return.

I wait and watch myself for more than 20 minutes. Finally, HH stands up and begins piping. As I turn around, I see an adult fly. HH immediately goes into begging mode, though the parent doesn't appear to have any food. Then another couple walks up to say that they have just seen 2 birds land further up on the beach. Sure enough, HJ and the other parent have returned. Although the chicks can now fly, they are still waiting around for Mom and Dad to bring food.

HJ can fly, but it still hopefully follows the adult with a stooped, begging posture.
I am delighted to be able to follow the progress of this young family.

1 comment:

  1. Understanding what the birds are doing certainly makes their observing more interesting and meaningful. Delightful reading and incidental learning