Grace on Wings~

The Salton Sea in Southern California lies 227 feet below sea level. It is the largest lake in California and shelters at various times of the year, half of the variety of bird species found in the United States. Millions of birds visit the sea annually.

American Avocets get their name from the Italian word ‘avosetta,’ which means graceful.

They are slender waders that feed mainly on crustaceans and insects.

Avocets used to be widespread across the United States,

but the species was killed off in much of it’s eastern range by the early 1900’s.

The Salton Sea is a critical habitat for these, and many other bird species, but the sea is shrinking due to climate change and increased human demands for water. Efforts are underway to help save the sea and the birds that rely on it. Time will tell if these efforts will be enough.

Cheers to you from the graceful avosettas at The Salton Sea~

For more about Avocets see:

215 thoughts on “Grace on Wings~

  1. And here I thought the Salton Sea was purely a human caused accident. In fact, it’s been a sea many time in history, this last time, being filled unintentionally by an engineering failure. “Over about two years, these two newly created rivers[19] carried the entire volume of the Colorado River into the Salton Sink.” Now, that’s a lot of water. ~1905.
    It sits on the San Andreas fault — time for a refill, maybe.

    1. Yes. I have been visiting the sea since I was a child. It is a complex anomaly and quite amazing that such a polluted body of water shelters such an incredible variety of wildlife. დ

    1. Sad to hear about this lake, but not surprised. Might help with a new administration the 21st, att least it sounds like that. Otherwise these birds also will ens up on the red list. Great pictures with glorius light.

      1. Thank you Hans & I hope so! Maybe the new admin will halt the oil drilling permits Trump issued for the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Hard to believe we still haven’t learned from our unending list of tragic mistakes…..

  2. Such beauty and such sadness…thinking about how it could play out is making me anxious. Thank you, Cindy, for bringing such important environment questions to the forefront of people’s minds. ❤️

          1. Me? Come on? I’m just an amateur. Much honoured though. It may be one of the greatest benefits of blogging. How we learn new things everyday form each other…
            Take care Cindy. 🙏🏻

    1. I am so glad. Watching birds in nature is excellent for your mind, body and spirit. I was reading a news story about a woman in the UK who nearly died in hospital from corona virus, while patients were dying around her. She said upon discharge, that she plans to spend as much time as possible now in nature, watching birds. Stay safe & well Hedy დ

      1. Thanks so much, Cindy, for your kind comment! I learn a lot with your meaningful and beautiful posts. I thank you for that! Please take care, my friend! 🙂

  3. These scenes and the facts about the Salton Sea are just remarkable, Cindy! I’ve seen Avocets only once or twice in Florida, but your excellent images of them here are a joy to look at!

  4. Thank you for introducing the avocets to us, Debra! I like all your pictures. But the second last is very special as it shows two American avocets in harmony with each other, something we all desire in these troubling times.

  5. Such beautiful birds. I hope the habitat can be maintained successfully. (btw I had a comment on my latest post supposedly from you. I’m sure it wasn’t, it went in spam, but just as a heads up you might want to change your password)

  6. Your magnificent photos reveal the beauty of the avocets that live in this immense Californian lake. The name of these birds goes according to the elegance they show.
    You give us some photographic delights. Good Sunday Cindy

  7. Such a beautiful bird. Sure hope there is success in maintaining their habitat as I suspect there are many living things that rely on it as their home.💕

  8. Pingback: Grace on Wings~ — – Pershspective

  9. What beauties! Their bills are magnificent.
    Save the whales!
    Save the bees!
    Save the Monarch butterfly!
    Save the Polar Bears!
    Save the Salton Sea!
    Save me!
    Cindy, is there anything but pigeons, sea gulls and certain insects that don’t need to be saved?
    BEAUTIFUL shots. Thank you!!!!

    1. Well Resa, I can think of one person whose presidency shouldn’t be saved for one more second…… Is this helpful? 🙂 When he’s gone, maybe we can reverse the drilling rights he approved in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. დ

  10. Lovely pictures. I recently read the history of the Salton Sea and how it was a huge resort for the Hollywood types at one point until it became so chemically polluted. I am glad the birds can tolerate it.

    1. Yes. And we do not have a good historical record in dealing with vulnerable human beings either. And all of us humans are part of nature.
      We seem to be a species due correction.

    1. Oh, of course, no, “they” haven’t. The inflow of toxic wastewater into the sea, from multiple sources, including New River, is part of the reason the Salton Sea is the apocalyptic wasteland that it is. There is also the Colorado River water issue. Biologically the Salton Sea should be a dead, dying, smelly and toxic sea, which it is. But at the southern end, it is an ecological surprise. The birds come en-masse here, and so do mammalian predators.

      1. Anonymous

        I have fond memories of going there as a kid with my father. It warms my heart to see the Salton Sea through your lens and all the beautiful surprises.

  11. It breaks my heart to hear about the loss of habitats. So sad, there is no place for bird to live. The same happens here in Ireland.
    Vanishing lake is a natural thing, but as you say, the increased demand for water accelerates the process. I still remember a picture in my school book and my feelings about the inevitable change from lake to bog. Where would the ducks go? Now, 50 years later, there are very little places for waterfowl to go to.
    Hope your 2021 is happy and safe.

    1. Yes. I have witnessed exactly what you describe and it is heartbreaking. No matter how much habitat is destroyed, there are certain people who just want to ruin more. It is heartbreaking. Stay safe & well Inese დ

  12. Ahh…the amazing grace on wings! I’m absolutely flappergasted! LOL! On a more serious note, I’ve just completed a course in Specialized Eldercare…right before the lockdown on 12th January. Stay safe, stay healthy & stay happy, my dear friend! ♡♡〜٩(^▿^)۶〜♡♡

  13. Gorgeous photos, Cindy. I love the Avocets, they are such beautiful, graceful birds. The American Avocet looks slightly different from the ones we have in Norfolk, Recurvirostra avosetta, a common and popular sight here.

    1. I would love to see yours! Jim just got a vaccine. I will have to wait longer. If we both get vaccinated, we might be able to travel again later this year…. We are talking about Iceland again, and not clear where else enroute. დ

      1. Our neighbours had theirs last week. I’ll have to wait a while. If you ever plan to come to England give us a shout, the Norfolk Coast is an AONB. Can’t really see any travels in the UK this year with the numbers we have at the moment though. Take care❣️

        1. I would love to see the Norfolk Coast. I agree it will take more than a year to defang this plague. But, you know, hope rises, floats, and flies. Stay safe and well დ

  14. Avocets are truly graceful. What an apt name for them.Even their black markings have gracefully curving lines. Do their long also curving beaks spear their food? It’s so sad to see so many bird species having fewer and fewer numbers!

    1. I think they work like scoopers or tweezers depending on the water characteristics. They move their heads from side to side under murky water stirring up yummy-yuck up from the murk and sucking it down with the curved beak as the bugs and stuff float up. In clear water they scoop bugs and up with a beaky tweezer action. Nifty huh, if you like eating bugs and such 😉

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