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Friday, May 22, 2009

Baby Oystercatchers

With temperatures in the mid-80s, I decided to take a late day bike ride to Jacob Riis Park. While I'll have to wait another month before attempting a swim, there were some shorebirds basking in the summer-like conditions.

The beach was nearly empty of people, but there were lots of nesting American Oystercatchers spread out along the sand. I counted at least 9 nests in areas that were roped off and marked with signs to keep out humans. One adult was sitting with two chicks about 5 yards from the boardwalk. American Oystercatcher chicks are precocial, meaning that they are fairly independent as soon as they hatch and fun to observe. I watched the pair for a few minutes and, at times, found myself laughing out loud. The two chicks seemed content to stay close to their seated parent. Occasionally, they would play around-around-mommy, walking round and round. At one point, one of the tiny birds had a burst of energy and bolted towards the shore, giant feet flailing below the miniature body. It stopped short only a few yards away from its parent then slowly wander back to mommy. Before hordes of New Yorkers flood the beach, I recommend taking a trip to Riis Park just to enjoy the antics of these tiny shorebirds.


John said...

Nice photo!

dAwN said...

Oh My...soo cute! We are in NYC visiting..I must go to this park!

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