14 October 2013

Adopted Avocet suffers identity crisis

BirdTrack Organiser Nick Moran was surprised to find an interloper in the Oystercatcher roost at Snettisham RSPB reserve in late September.

Avocet M8 seemed happy enough with it's equally pied roost mates and interestingly the story took a much stranger turn when we heard back from the ringer.

M8 was ringed as a chick at Dunkirk, near Ely, in Cambridgeshire earlier in the year and had already featured on the inside back cover of BirdWatching magazine (September 2013). Here it was seen being fed a leatherjacket by one of its apparently adopted parents; an Oystercatcher! Once M8 had made the switch from natural parents to adoptive parents, it remained with them exclusively before fledging and departing.

So whether Avocet M8 now thinks it's an Oystercatcher is an intriguing question, and we wonder if it now feeds side-to-side sweeping (as an Avocet should) or is trying to probe (as an Oystercatcher would). It might also make finding a mate later in life an interesting proposition!

No comments:

Post a Comment