Saturday, March 20, 2010

Babies, Everywhere!*

*Be warned… this blog post contains pictures of extraordinary cuteness.

The title of this post says it all, but, by far, the best part about the field work in Churchill this past summer were all of the chicks (shorebird chicks) we found. In addition to the godwit chicks that we would band and place radio transmitters on for Nate’s study, we also found the chicks of most of the other shorebirds, and many other birds. For this post, I will let the pictures do the talking.

Short-billed Dowitcher - the very first chick we found of the summer, it gave us some hope that our godwits would hatch their eggs too.

Hudsonian Godwit chicks! They are quite cute, and fluffy, and they have ridiculously big feet. When godwit nests hatched, we would band chicks and take data on them, and place a radio transmitter on one chick per brood to track them through their growth. The transmitters would fall off once contour feathers began to grow in.
Dunlin chick

Least Sandpiper - one of the cuter chicks that we found, and so tiny (as would be expected)

Stilt Sandpiper chick - sorry this shot is so oddly exposed, my camera was misbehaving this day, but you get the idea... it was cute

One day, we happened upon a hatched nest of American Golden Plovers - mom was nearby, and after taking some pictures, she gathered her babies and brooded them

Willow Ptarmigan chick - I particularly like the ptarmigan chick, because, as with the adults, the babies also have feathered feet!

Northern Shoveler - even at a few days old, the babies have already developed the big spatulate bill


  1. They are adorable. I just can't believe the cuteness!

  2. They really are beyond adorable. The willow ptarmigan is so sweet-looking. All of them, really. Thanks for posting such wonderful photos.Here in NYC, we have a few birds brooding already. Upstate yesterday I saw a male great blue heron standing on his huge twiggy nest,but no eggs yet.

  3. Apologies to anyone who left a comment, I accidentally deleted them while trying to fix something... I'm new to this whole blog thing, so I clearly still have stuff to figure out.

  4. So. Stinking. Cute.

  5. Awwww, I love precocial chicks. My favorite, though, is the killdeer chicks, which I don't see any photos of here. But, those golden plovers are pretty cute, too.

  6. excuse me.

    but what is wrong with that person's thumb?

  7. Hello Shawn,
    These pictures are absolutly fantastic the American Golden Plovers pictures are really special along with your photo skills true talent ! Some of the most beautiful photos i`ve seen in a long time Shawn !
    Thanks James

  8. Awww. So much cuteness on one page! Thank you.

  9. I like the chicks! They are all so cute and adorable. We don't get to see this often in my country where it is populated and urbanized.