Tag Archive | American Avocets

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

Black Necked Stilts in The Salton Sea~


Black Necked Stilts (BNS) are found from California to as far east as Florida, and as far south as Central America and the Galapagos.

They are waders and have the second longest leg to body proportions of any bird in the world excepting the flamingo (Cornell Lab of Ornithology).

These birds were photographed in The Salton Sea in Southern California.

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. It rests directly above The San Andreas Fault, and lies 71.9 meters below sea level.

The Salton Sea is under serious threat, is shrinking, and is heavily polluted.

The sea is considered the second most diverse and significant habitat for migrating birds in the US. Over 400 species have been identified here, and it is a critical migratory winter resting stop on The Pacific Flyway.

BNS populations are in decline due to habitat destruction and wetland pollution.

If the sea were to dry up, the millions of birds who rely on it during their annual migration would be imperiled.

It would become a giant toxic dust-bowl threatening the public health of millions of Californians. The shrinking of the sea is already emitting toxic dust and chemicals harming human health. Effective plans do exist to save and refresh the sea, but no plans exist to date, to implement them.

Cheers to you from the threatened Black Necked Stilts at the vulnerable Salton Sea~

(For more on The Sea read: http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-salton-sea-20151001-story.html).