Friday, June 18, 2010

Long-billedCurlew fledgling & parents

I didn't get the best part of the threat display on video as the bird surprised me. In fact, at the beginning of this clip the female is shown foraging without apparent distress. I had let my small dog out to go to the bathroom and made it stay close to the car thinking the curlews wouldn't even see it let alone feel threatened as they were at least 250 away when I heard the bird above giving it's threat call. I quickly put my dog back in the car so it didn't bother the birds further then put the camcorder on the bird--this is blurry black object in the video clip before I got focussed on the bird. This was the male bird which is often tasked with defending the young. I'm not sure why it does that little hop after after first landing--maybe there was a snake or critter on the ground that startled it or maybe it's part of the display behavior. Note--to see a little larger screen just double click on this video screen and it will take you to the Youtube location for little better viewing. SeEtta

Long-billed Curlew family in a short video clip

This is the male and female Long-billed Curlews foraging with their chick in short-grass prairie of northern Otero County, Colorado. At the beginning the chick is on the left of the video and the female on the right. The chick does a little hop and wing-flap--not sure if just practicing or if it ran across a snake or other critter that startled it. The size difference is quite clear between the chick and the parent birds. The female and the chick forage near each other for a bit then the male moves in from the far left--so the final video pic shows the male on the left, the female in the middle and the chick on the right. Note--to see a little larger screen just double click on this video screen and it will take you to the Youtube location for little better viewing. SeEtta

Video clip of Long-billed Curlew chick

In this video clip the Long-billed Curlew chick is foraging in some nice short-grass prairie in northern Otero County, CO. The bird is 250-300 feet away so even using the full 40 power optical zoom on my camcorder, it is still fairly small. Unfortunately I have only very basic editing software so you hear the rasot sound of the wind in much of the clip. The adult female, with her very long bill, comes into the video and forages in the vicinity of the chick for a brief period. This provides a good opportunity to compare the two. SeEtta

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another trip-Long-billed Curlew chick and parents


I drove back to Otero County earlier this week to try to refind the Long-billed Curlews I found over the week-end in hopes I could confirm breeding. I did refind them and spent 2 1/2 hours observing, photographing and videotaping them. The top pic shows (from left to right) female,chick, and male. How do I know this? The subscription online reference guide from Cornell School of Ornithology-Birds of North America states that the bill of female Long-billed Curlews is longer than the bill of males (and different shape but I can't discern that as these birds were 250-300 feet away) and that the bill of juveniles is shorter than that of adults during it's "first few months."

In the bottom pic the chick is on the left and the male bird on the right. One and sometimes both parents stayed within a few hundred feet of the foraging chick, keeping close watch over him and any threats. SeEtta