Sunday, October 21, 2012

Construction Project

The coots at their new home

After living in the canal in our backyard for two years the family of coots decided that they needed an island.  I don't know what drove this decision --perhaps it was like Noah building the Ark.  Once decided, the entire family dedicated themselves for a week to the task.  They grabbed any stick, piece of grass or leaf and began to pile them at a shallow point in the water.  It truly was non-stop.  Within a day they had broken the surface.  By the end of the week they had their island.  
In the beginning.....

Bringing leaves back to the spot. 

Success!  A new home in less than a week.  

Per Wikipedia, a coot is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive, or trumpeting calls often given at night.  David Attenborough of Princeton University adds that "Coots can be very brutal to their own young under pressure such as the lack of food. They will bite young that are begging for food and repeatedly do this until it stops begging and starves to death. If the begging continues, they may bite so hard that the chick is killed."  Let that be a lesson to our younger readers who pester their parents for snacks.  

Once it was built the other birds, ducks in this case, used the island as well .
The heron liked it too.  

This picture doesn't have anything to do with the coots.  I just like the reflection in the water. 

More reflection

The construction supervisor at work.  

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