Aquarium's Shorebird Sanctuary: New Babies

The fluffy little Black-Necked Stilts hatched near the end of June.

AS WE SETTLE IN UPON THE SAND, all ready to enjoy a pleasant afternoon at the beach, several fishy thoughts may drift through our marine-loving minds. Like, will we spy a dolphin in the distance? Could we even see a blowhole, perhaps belonging to a blue or gray whale, a little further out? And what other ocean denizens are out there, just beneath the foam? All of that massive, and massively intriguing, H2O truly sets the imagination reeling, absolutely. But we don't have to gaze too far off-shore to find life at the beach, for you're sure to spy a few shorebirds during your afternoon on the blanket (as sure as you'll arrive home with sand in your hair). These wing-rocking locals may be searching for their next meal, or passing through on the wind, but it isn't difficult to find one, or a few dozen, while at the water's edge. You can also see these beak-sweet critters, at the Aquarium of the Pacific's Shorebird Sanctuary, which just happens to be home to two new...

BLACK-NECKED STILTS: These lil' chicks just hatched at the end of June, and their parents? Fans of the Long Beach institution may know them as Gigi and George (mommy has been a local at the Aquarium since 2002, while George is a fairly new arrival, with 2015 as his move-in year). Both Gigi and George participated in incubating the "dark-spotted, buff-colored eggs," if you're curious about the birds' egg-minding process. As for baby Black-necked Stilts? The aquarium reveals that "their eyes open at birth" and they're out of the nest in lickety-split fashion (read: two hours or so). The fledgling period lasts for about "twenty-eight to thirty-two" days, too, if you need one more interesting tidbit for your shorebird trivia file. And if you know your shorebirds, you know this: Black-necked Stilts may be found in a host of spots around California, including "coastal bays" and "prairie ponds." If you don't know if you've seen one along the water's edge, stop by the aquarium to get a look at the littlest newcomers and their handsome parents.

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