Perilous Times…

     We live in Perilous Times. How often have you heard that phrase? I think each generation has heralded these headlines on more than one occasion. It has always been perilous for the birds though. In the ancient Garden of Eden the Eagle was just sitting there eating fruit and leaves next to the sparrow and the next thing you know they are thrown out into the weeds and thorns and it is sparrow fricassee for lunch. It has been a bird eat bird world out there ever since. Life goes on though, even through the perilous times.

     I paid a few visits to Huguenot Park this past week to see the nesting shorebirds. Thousands of birds nest there this time of year. The Laughing Gulls were the most numerous that I saw. The Black Skimmers and Royal Terns were also nesting. Each morning I saw tell tale signs though of the predator birds. Heads torn off, wings here and there, sure signs of a Great Horned Owl having a feast on the gulls. One particular pair of birds caught my eye, one that I have been hoping to catch through the lens. The American Oystercatcher is rarely seen on the Broward.  However, there was one nesting pair on the beach. The park rangers said they had laid three eggs, which had all hatched, but by the next day marauding gulls had eaten two of them. I saw the parents closely guarding the remaining offspring.

     Per the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology we find this: A large, boldly patterned bird, the American Oystercatcher is conspicuous along ocean shores and salt marshes. True to its name, it is specialized in feeding on bivalves (oysters, clams, and mussels) and uses its brightly colored bill to get at them”. I observed it also digging in the sand for insects to feed the hatchling. The baby oystercatcher was a cute little bird and had to duck and cover on more than one occasion as I observed gulls come too close only to be swiftly attacked by the parents. I sure hope the little bird survives the summer.

      On the way back home I also spotted a pair of Osprey who had built a nest on the drawbridge signal light and had just hatched little ones. Talk about perilous places. Those fledging Ospreys won’t survive a fall from the nest with that bridge traffic going underneath them. Sounds like we need a bird savior too! Oh, they have one. Won’t they be glad to one day just sing for joy. Me too! Be blessed. Harry

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Gen 1:20

Perilous times on the dunes, a predator causes the nesting gulls and other birds to take wing.

Laughing gulls guard their nests and also look for others upon which to prey.

One minute everything is all fine and loving!

Then the feathers begin to fly, Perilous times indeed.

 A Royal Tern has hungry mouths to feed.

Black Skimmer hurries back to the nest after a quick morning bath.

The American Oystercatcher feeds on bivalves in the shallows but must not stay long.

Two hatchlings have already been killed by marauding gulls..

This pair of Oystercatchers stay close now to this remaining little one.

This pair of Oystercatchers stay close now to this remaining little one.

Wait here junior..

No, I want to go this way instead..

Time to boogie!

Hey, where did everyone go? 

Fear not..big daddy is watching over you!

Fear not..big daddy is watching over you!

Perilous places too…the add in the bird news said great water view nest site..geesh..but a birds gotta do what a birds gotta do.

Perilous places too…the add in the bird news said great water view nest site..geesh..but a birds gotta do what a birds gotta do.

These Osprey are determined to stay in spite of the dangers..and cars below..

What's a fellow to do in these perilous times…got mouths to feed …someday we will just relax and sing when it is all over though..

email: selsorhd@me.com

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