Early mornings may still have the bite of winter in the air, but spring has arrived; at least for the birds.
The big flocks of skimmers and terns seem to have dispersed already, there are fewer White Pelicans about and it is only a matter of weeks until the Sandhill Cranes take off from the western part of Galveston Island to return to their northern summering grounds.
American Avocets have spent the months since November feeding on crustaceans and insects along the lagoons of Galveston's East End and in the Bolivar Flats. Their bills are upturned on the end and perfect for sweeping the water looking for food. But this week, I was unable to locate Avocets, which makes me believe they have taken off.
Their bodies are of a striking black and white and their head a brown ranging from caramel to cinnamon.
The Avocets chicks are never fed by their parents. From the moment of hatching, they find their own food.