Alvord Avocet Egg

I had a lot of time to think about life when I was stuck for nearly a week in the Alvord Desert. A flash flood dumped twice the annual rainfall overnight, and I found myself waiting for the ancient lake to dry out.

Wandering around one day I came across this vibrant green avocet egg – it’s parents and extended family had been keeping me company for a few days. These elegant wading birds gracefully move through shallow waters, sweeping their slender, upward-curving beaks back and forth to capture aquatic invertebrates, and I enjoyed watching them from the truck as I waited the days out.

I decided I’d like a photo of the egg, should the parents allow it. Especially if I could shoot after sunset – it reminded me of a sparkly Chao egg and would really be fitting under the beautiful dark skies.

As twilight approached and the birds were off hunting, I made my way toward the nest. I had been watching the area for a few days and hadn't noticed the parents at the nest until late in the evening, which gave me confidence that they wouldn't mind a quick photo-op! All I needed was about 5 minutes, and that was all I was going to get! The parents had finished their hunt and were cautiously watching me from about 10 yards by the time I was wrapping up, so I thanked them as I folded up the tripod and trudged through the mud back to the truck. A successful evening for all 3 of us!

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