American Avocet Portrait (Photo of the week)

A nesting american avocet peeks above the pickle weed

This american avocet was sitting on her nest, hidden in pickle weed along the bank of a shallow slough. Avocet nests are fairly unimpressive – they are usually just a small scrape along the ground, sometimes lined with grass. Sometime avocet females will lay their eggs in other avocet nests – or even the nests of other species. Likewise, other species (usually black-necked stilts) have been known to lay their eggs in active avocet nests. The avocet female that tends the nest will raise the stilt chicks as if they were her own.