Oystercatchers Hatch!

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 beak, I’d have expected (and quickly received) a swift cuff upside the head.

But here both oystercatcher parents focus their efforts on hatching chick #3, seemingly figuring “kids will be kids.” If you look carefully at timecode 01:15, you can actually see chick #3 beginning to chip its way out of the last remaining egg when mom raises up to rotate.

By day two, the five oystercatchers had become one big happy family. Plus me.

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