As already noted, I went to Bear River primarily to see Avocets, but I wasn’t at all surprised to see a large number of Black-Necked Stilt there. In fact, I can’t remember ever seeing Avocets without also seeing Black-Necked Stilt, though I have seen Black-Necked Stilt without seeing Avocets.
It’s hard to say whether there were more Stilts or Avocets, but if you click on this shot you’ll see a single Avocet in the middle of this flock of Stilts.
Black-Necked Stilt often get territorial, chasing other stilt away, but I’ve never seen one try to chase away an Avocet, even though they are often feeding quite close to each other. Why is that? Do the stilts and avocets eat different food, so they don’t see them as competitors. If they don’t eat the same foods, why do they appear in the same environment so often? Although many sites link them together, none discuss similarities or differences. Frustrating.
For the moment, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied admiring their delicate beauty,
and marveling at their long, thin legs
Those long legs give the impression that the Black-Necked Stilt is a large bird, but seeing them next to the smallish Cinnamon Teal reveals how delicate they really are,
an impression reinforced by this close-up.