Wilson’s Plover family
I can’t help but think how appropriate this photo is for today: a female Wilson’s Plover “brooding” her 3 chicks on a Florida beach. This process is used to regulate the chicks’ body temperatures, especially when they are very young. For comparison, the mother is about the size of a robin, and the chicks are literally little fuzz balls.
This somewhat bizarre shorebird is active by night, digging for worms with its long beak. I photographed this male with the use of a flashlight after he performed his mating rituals, which consist of a winnowing flight display.