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Dance of the Oystercatchers

VerneN
 

This occurred during the same sighting on the San Leandro Channel on Bay
Farm that I reported a few days ago. I haven't seen this activity
before.
After each had bathed and preened, all five of the Oystercatchers
congregated nearby at a clearing on the beach.
Suddenly, they all began piping loudly and chasing each other. Some
then paired up randomly and strutted side by side piping and pointing
sky-to-ground. This lasted about a minute and ended abruptly with quiet
and standing still.
After a little rest, they all flew to the nearby riprap to begin
hunting.
Here's a picture of one of the pairs. From what I've read this is the
courtship dance. I think this is it, but I also think it might be
ritual play/practice on the part of juveniles (???).
http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/123203362
<http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/123203362>