Eggs, Idioms, and the Unique

Killdeer Eggs at the Horicon Marsh

The Killdeer has a companion with her today. They are both quietly standing near the nest. I’m surprised that they are not alarmed by my presence and trying to draw me away from the nest. I wonder if hatching is getting close, but I don’t see any cracks in the eggs.

Double-crested Cormorant at the Horicon Marsh

I was trolling for pictures driving slowly along the shoulder of Highway 49 when I saw this spectacular Double-crested Cormorant sitting on a post on the south side of the road. Cormorants need to air dry their wings before they can fly after swimming.  Water doesn’t run off of their backs and their plumage isn’t waterproof.[1]  I guess that’s why they use ducks, not cormorants, in the idiom “like water off a duck’s back.” Ducks have oily feathers.  Plus, “like water off a cormorant’s back” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Hmmm…I’m not sure what this is all about.

Double-crested Cormorant at the Horicon Marsh


I continued driving slowly when I spotted this colorful ball of feathers swimming in and out of the cattails close to the road.

American Coot Chick at the Horicon MarshIn this case, maybe a picture really is worth a thousand words.  Can you guess what it is?

Thankfully, he was swimming with mom so I was able to identify it as an American Coot.

American Coot with Chick at the Horicon Marsh



[1] John Eastman, Birds of Lake, Pond and Marsh:  Water and Wetland Birds of Eastern North America (Mechanicsburg, PA:  Stackpole Books, 1999), 183.

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