by Bryce W. Robinson
Animated is a proper term describing the unique American Avocet. I have photographed this common wetland denizen in the past, but given my newly acquired gear, I thought a return to the rusty colored subject would prove fruitful. The birds themselves are striking. The Avocet provides an aesthetic presentation; A rusty orange neck, balanced by long blue-grey legs and contrasting white and black body. As always, I found watching the avocets a delight, as they fed and flew around the shallow wetland waters.
When the avocet stands still it holds itself with poise. The slight upturn of the bill is delicate, and demands reverence. As it moves through the water, it maintains alertness, while conducting its business. The avocet feeds on micro-biota, utilizing its upturned bill to sift through mud and water.
Any area the avocet frequents will carry the sound of the recurvirostra call. Kleet kleet fills the air, neither loud nor obnoxious. Often, the talkative birds lift to the sky, circling the waters. For minutes the bird flies, finally fulfilling whatever need that put it to the air, and calmly settles back to the water. The avocet is active, in voice, in feeding, in flying. Watching this wetland walker touches upon every aspect I enjoy in birding. Unique sights, unique sounds, unique experiences. A glimpse into a world so alive and independent from my own, its existence commands my respect and admiration.
I began birding in wetland areas. These inhabitants are special to me. Although my study has focused much on birds of prey, and will undoubtedly continue in that direction, I will not forget my roots. I love nothing more than walking among the reeds, listening to the birds, enjoying the long light of the setting sun. I am at that moment, engrossed in a world I certainly respect, but not a part of. I record my findings to pay homage, and draw attention to the fact that other worlds exist outside of humanity, equally integral and important.