• Wildcreatures

Tattler

Noooo..not the magazine for socialites...The tattler bird! And this one is very good at finding and catching crabs.

This is the Grey-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes. (This was formerly Heteroscelus brevipes, but naturalists love changing names and nomenclature, just when you think you have it figured out). They resemble a common redshank (T. totanus) in shape and size, but not in colour. Also, I was told (and bear with me here) certain identification of species depends on details like the length of the nasal groove and scaling on the tarsus. Hmmm, I gave up listening shortly after that, and watched, fascinated, as this lovely bird ran like billyo in front of our hide and scooped up a mass of mud, which looked like a piece of coral. As the photos show below, it took this muck over to a tidal pool, gave it a quick wash, and hey...lunch....as a crab emerged from under all that crud. photo 1. Find your piece of mulch.

photo 2. Give it a wash

photo 3. Hey presto, a crab appears!

Mine! Mine! Mine! (watch Finding Nemo for reference). Photos taken from a hide in MaiPo Marshes

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