Male Black-Necked Stilt and Chick

Momentous Day

I had been monitoring this black-necked stilt nest for 3 weeks and for the last several days eagerly awaited to see if any of the eggs hatched. Well, Friday was the day! One of the 3 eggs hatched probably Friday morning. I observed the chick walking some, so wobbly I thought it was going to fall several times. I stayed until sunset hoping the other 2 eggs would hatch, but it looks like it will be late Friday night or early today (Saturday) when they hatch. In the first photo (7716) you can see dad nudging the chick while sitting on the other two eggs after giving mom a break so she could forage. In the next two photos (7722 and 7723) you can actually see the other two spotted eggs as well as the baby and its broken egg shell. I’ve been photographing wildlife for 20 years and this is a first for me. I was there when the eggs were laid, there during much of the incubation, and now there to see the babies hatch. I almost feel like a godfather. It’s going to be a difficult road ahead for the hatchlings and parents as they fight off predators and perils of what can be a dangers world. I plan to send updates and photos of the stilt family and, with a little luck, in three to four weeks the babies will grow up to become beautiful black-and-white stilts adults.

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