American Avocet (three photos)

I have a long standing fascination of the American Avocet. Much of it stems from the twenty or so years it took me to see an avocet in person. Still today, the upturned bill and seasonal color variations stir interest in the bird.

Avocet 1The deceptive personality of the American Avocet is also intriguing. Tall and slender, the avocet seems like a mild mannered ave. Yet it will strike at predators, challenging hawks and corvids alike.

Avocet 2The American Avocet also at times employs an interesting defensive technique. It will gradually change pitch in a series of calls to hamper the ability of predators to zone in on it’s location.

Avocet 3

The Birds of Quivira (12 photos)

I introduced Quiriva National Wildlife Refuge in my previous post. By November the primary migration along the Central Flyway is declining. Yet we still saw thousands upon thousands of ducks, geese and Sandhill Cranes during a day visit.

Quivira Water FinalQuivira Water 5I didn’t bring a telephoto lens on the trip, so I rented an older Nikon 50-400. Between a misfitted lens and generally overcast skies, the quality of photos is lacking. So be it. This was my first visit to Quivira.

A couple of days before our visit, migrating Whooping Cranes returned to Quivira. While we did not see the cranes, we found plenty of fellow birders looking for this endangered species.

There were plenty of waterfowl and shore birds, even if most were out of camera range.

Quivira Water 10
American Avocet
Quivira Water 12
Shoveler
Quivira Water 9
Least Sandpiper
Quivira Water 8
Lesser Yellowlegs
Quivira Water 6
American Coot
Quivira Water 7
American Pipit

Even though I live east of the Mississippi River, I consider Kansas my home state. So I have an emotional connection to the birds of the prairie. The Western Meadowlark is the Kansas state bird. The call of the Northern Bobwhite is iconic. I can only imagine the photo opportunities in the spring at Quivira for birds of the prairie.

Quivira Land Final
Western Meadowlark
Quivira Land 2
Northern Bobwhite
Quivira Land 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Birds identified at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge November 5, 2016.

American Avocet, American Coot, American Robin, Bald Eagle, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Canada Goose, Dark-eyed Junco, European Starling, Field Sparrow, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Mallard, Marsh Wren, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Flicker, Northern Shoveler, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Redhead, Ring-billed Gull, Ring-necked Pheasant, Ruddy Duck, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Snow Goose, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-rumped Warbler