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Old Jun 29, 2004, 12:01 AM   #1
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A moment to remember (please don't critique the technical, thanks)

I finally got a glimpse of the Willet's offspring after a display from her...the broken leg trick. Finally she got used to me clamoring closer to the pond and let her kids out to eat. She chased away a few killdeers and yellowlegs while her kids feasted.

Mom on guard (the pond is to the immediate right)



Fly by, making sure I'm that harmless idiot photographer who stumbles, falls and gets stuck in the muck next to the pond.



Okay, let out the kids, it appears safe (I noticed what appears to be a growth on her right wing here...any ideas?)



The kids eat happily while mom chases away anything that remotely appears threatening (by now ignoring the idiot photographer)



One more



Needless to say, I felt quite privileged to be allowed to view her kids at early evening snack time.


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Old Jun 29, 2004, 12:22 AM   #2
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hmm...no critique...oh well..

they are wonderful shots...especially the last one....i really like how you compose for the reflection!

nicely done (shoot..that is a critique isn't it?)

that sounds like a cool sight! i've seen baby geese and baby ducks...but NEVER baby willets...lol..i've never seen a willet....so that makes it even cooler!

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Old Jun 29, 2004, 12:58 AM   #3
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Believe me, Vito, I've never seen a Willet baby before either and took a double take when I realized it was actually that Willet's kids. And the way she chased away the other shore birds was amazing. She wouldn't let them get anywhere near, but she let me keep on photographing without complaint. In fact, she took off for a bit, then, when I started to leave, she came back. I felt like the baby sitter. It was cool indeed.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 1:20 AM   #4
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Wow, what an experience to be accepted by the Willet family! Those pictures of the young are precious. Look at the large legs and feet in comparison to the size of the kids' bodies.

It's hard to come to any concrete conclusion about the seemingly abnormal marking on the mom's right wing. Parasite or insect of some kind, dirt, abnormal feather, who knows...
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 1:32 AM   #5
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Here are 2 more close up views. Let me know if this inspires anything, thanks. Not really a "bird" ident but I'd like to know, if possible, what the answer is.




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Old Jun 29, 2004, 1:42 AM   #6
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That is a very wierd looking thing in those closeups Norm. Sometimes when I look at those pictures it appears that the spot is recessed into the feathers. Other times it looks like it bulges out from the feathers.

I still can't arrive at any conclusion about it. It's possible that unless you had the bird in hand you couldn't id what that is. An expert in these birds might know (is there such a person?).

My idea would be to go back out to the site and photograph her again during the next few days. See if the spot changes or is gone.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 1:50 AM   #7
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Excellent idea, and I'll do just that. And I hope that the thing has dropped off of her wing.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 9:26 AM   #8
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Very nice shots normcar,

They are all good but the last one where the baby is looking at its reflection should be in a magazine somewhere!
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 11:41 AM   #9
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norm...i'm no bird expert...but i've done a lot of photoshop work, with bevels and lighting and stuff, so i know..not think..lol....know...that the thing bulges, not indents, because of the highlight on the top...and unless the light is reflected from the water, the light is coming from above...if it was indented in, the highlight would've been on the bottom of it...

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Old Jun 29, 2004, 11:47 AM   #10
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If what you calla highlight is caused by reflected light, then I think that your argument rings true. Very good observation, vito!

OTOH, if it is not a reflected light highlight, but a discoloration of feather or flesh, or a piece of feather sticking into a depression, well, then...

It'd be much better for the bird if it is a bulge as proven by reflected light because then I'd be more willing to believe it was just mud or a snail (or... an engorged tick?)just sticking to the side of the bird. Let's hope...
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