Sunday, 8 January 2012

Our World Tuesday / World Bird Wednesday - Red-Headed Avocets


I don’t normally combine posts for different memes (or put the posts up this early!), but this seems to make sense here.



I was lucky enough to be involved in the banded (that’s ‘ringing’ in some parts of the world) of a large flock of Red-Headed Avocets a week or so ago. We trapped 174, which is the largest number ever caught in Australia. The birds were wonderful in the hand. The bills were incredibly delicate – the ends are much, much thinner than a grain of sand!


These birds are opportunist breeders – Australia does not always have the most reliable of seasons, so these birds can breed whenever the conditions are favourable. As a result there were all ages of birds in the flock, which lead to a bit of head scratching by the banders.





As you can see the birds are quiet relaxed in the hand – and in case you are wondering, the bird in the yellow tube is being weighed!

We place the standard metal rings on the birds, but also engraved leg ‘flags’ that can be read with a ‘scope. These birds are not easy to catch so with a bit of luck the flags will increase the amount of reported sightings of these birds.

Although the day was very hot, it was really rather remarkable.





You can see more sights from around the world at Our World Tuesday.


And you can see more birds from around the world at World Bird Wednesday.

You can also see the latest post to my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the screen.

20 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

really cool, stewart! so glad you took part!

Sylvia K said...

That is terrific, Stewart! Such beautiful birds and wonderful captures! Hope you have a great week ahead!

Sylvia

amatterofhowyouseeit.com said...

That's awesome that you were able to be a part of this and take these wonderful photos.

Sivinden said...

An elegant bird with a very special beak. Interesting!

Karen said...

Wow Stewart, what a great experience! Terrific shots of the comical looking little birds.

NixBlog said...

Great post, Stewart. Those are quite amazing birds with a remarkable beak!

Andrew said...

A wonderful post Stewart..
Your images are so lovely to see..

It dawned on me the other day that my blog grammar would get very low marks if you were marking it..

Take care.

Gary said...

Interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Liz said...

Great shots Stewart!
It's fantastic that you could be involved in this.
Have a great week.

Sallie (FullTiime-Life) said...

Oh Stewart what a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing it. The avocets are just beautiful...

Carole Meisenhelter said...

Avocets, aren't they delicate looking. A wonderful involvement it seems. The heat would've made things a bit testy but you all survived, with a photo-shoot thrown in; well done

mick said...

Beautiful birds, Stewart, and how great that you got to see and photograph them up close like that. I hope that much more is learnt about their movements within Australia from the banding efforts.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

That will most likely be an experience you will never forget. Good for you! Aren't those bills amazing?

NicoleB said...

Amazing work! Congrats on such a high number and lucky you to be able to be there and show us these beautiful photos of a wonderful species!

heyBJK said...

That looks like fun, Stewart. How great that you were able to take part!

eileeninmd said...

Very cool, Stewart. They are beautiful birds. It must have been fun to be involved with the banding. Great photos.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Stewart, so glad you had this opportunity. I only got my first glimpse of an Avocet...an American Avocet last summer. I cannot imagine being around so many and what a dream thing to handle them. I got to view Hummingbirds get banded this past summer and it was delightful too~

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful looking birds Stewart.
It must be a great feeling to be so close to them when you're 'ringing' them.

joo said...

Fascinating, Steward! Superb post!

Springman said...

What an amazing experience that must have been. I hope the banding will help our understanding of their lives and movements. How gentle your touch must be to do this kind of work!
Cheers Sir!