Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#5 American Avocet vs #12 Virginia Rail

American Avocet

  • Avocets physically attack predators near the nest including Northern Harriers and Common Ravens.

  • American Avocets have been known to parasitize nest of their own species as well as other species. There are also documents cases of other species paracitizing avocets nests, including a Black-necked Stilt which the avocet raised as its own chick.

  • Chicks leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators.

  • Avocets are known to raise their nest up to a foot or more with sticks and other materials in response to flooding. this keeps their eggs above water and saves their nesting attempt.

  • American Avocet numbers are threatened by the destruction of the wetlands they use to nest and feed.

Click here to view more information on American Avocets.

Virginia Rail

  • In order to escape from predators, Virginia Rails have the ability to swim underwater. They propel themselves with their wings.

  • Virginia Rails build many nests per nesting season but only use one to lay their eggs. The other serve as dummy nests to distract predators.

  • Rails have the highest ratio of leg muscles to flight muscles of any bird.

  • Virginia Rail's forehead feathers have adapter to resist wear from pushing through dense vegetation in marshes.

  • Although not known for their ability to fly, Virginia Rails do migrate long distances each year.

Click here to view more information on Virginia Rails.

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