Saturday, July 14, 2012
As can be seen in the top pic, this bird is attempting to pick up food with it's damaged bill though I cannot imagine how it can feed itself with the position of the upper and lower mandibles as they are. The bird let me approach on foot relatively close (40-50 feet) and once I got close enough to see the bill well I realized it might be doing so because it is very hungry. So I took my photos where the bird was (in lieu of waiting for it to move to a less trashed up (with beer bottle) location and backed away to let it try to feed.
It would seem unlikely to survive to adulthood (I believe it is an adult female in breeding plumage) with it's bill like it is so wonder if it could have run into something and bent the bill (it has some enlargement on the top at the base of the bill?). SeEtta
Earlier this week I traveled to the lower Arkansas Valley to do some birding during a brief respite (only a few days) in the 100+ temps they have had from Pueblo to the Kansas border. Due to the continuing drought, all the lakes including Lake Holbrook were very low. As can be seen in this photo there were fish around the lake edges as they were dying due to low water and hot temps which increases the water temps and reduces oxygen levels. Along with the sad state of hundreds of dead and dying fish, I spotted this American Golden-Plover, a rare visitor to Colorado, and it had a damaged bill as can be seen in this photo. I suspect this poor bird was here to try to feed on the insects drawn to all the dead fish. More photos to follow. SeEtta