Born to be Wild

Beauty is wonderful, but behavior often provides a more fascinating story

Who knew? On their first step out of the nest, these black oystercatcher chicks behave more like featherweight sumo wrestlers than the simpatico siblings they’ll soon become. Had I ever misbehaved to such extreme right under my mom’s big beak, I’d have expected — and quickly received — a swift cuff upside the head.

But I guess figuring “kids will be kids,” both oystercatcher parents remain steadfastly focused on hatching chick #3. If you look carefully at timecode 01:15, you can actually see, as mom raises up to rotate, chick #3 beginning to chip its way out of the last remaining egg.

By the end of this day, five black oystercatchers had become one big happy family (plus me!). And for anyone else who wishes they’d been there too at the very moment these two pugilists hatched, CLICK HERE.


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