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:

https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/avocet.htm

201 thoughts on “Grace on Wings~

  1. 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.

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    • 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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〜♡♡

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  4. 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.

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    • 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

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      • 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❣️

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  5. 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!

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    • 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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