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Shelter | by Don McCullough
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Shelter

The Avocet chick had been feeding independently for about a half an hour when it came back toward its parent. The parent settled down on its backward knees and the chick snuggled up under a wing (left photo). The both just kept still for about 4 minutes, with the parent keeping watch (middle photo int he triptych). Then they went on their way (right photo).

 

The sun was setting and a cooling wind setting in, so perhaps the chick wanted to get warm. In human terms, it looks like a snuggle or a cuddle. It was touching to see the parent shelter its chick for a few minutes.

 

I also saw this same behavior with chick and parent in the earlier photo called Nurture. That photo shows some interaction before the parent settled down and the chick snuggled in. But it was a long way off and backlit, so I was not sure what was actually going on. I was very pleased to get this front view a little while later.

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Taken on July 1, 2013