Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Long-billed Curlew family with young chick

Yesterday I took advantage of a 'cool' front that dropped the temperatures in Otero County from around 100 to the 80's. I returned to look for the Long-billed Curlew pair that I found last year with several chicks. I found the male and female in the lower pics only about a half mile from where I had seen the pair last year so believe this is the same pair. Actually the grass in the field where I saw them the most last year was in poor condition--there is a severe drought in that area plus it appears the ranchers overgrazed those fields (grass fields right across the road were short but healthy looking). Long-billed Curlews are known for nest site fidelity but I suspect the poor condition of the fields they were in last year prompted a move down the road.
The chick shown in the top pic is quite young, actually a nestling but since this species is precocial. More pics to follow. SeEtta