My goal on this visit to the Venice Rookery was initially to photograph the amazing white feathers in the breeding male Egret. They are stunning and the displays are elegant! Quickly the chicks captured my attention and my camera's eye. Egret chicks are so dinosaur-esque that they barely resemble the finessed beauty of the parent egret! These three chicks particularly captured my attention, two of similar size and one some smaller. They look to be holding a sibling meeting telling secrets and tricks while the parent was away. When the parent arrives back they sqwauk and push as if starving, opening their beaks and surrounding the parents head. They are so aggressive about it that the older chicks seem to almost swallow the parent's head! After relenting, the parent seems to get irritated and push away to find some peace, yet they return, as the call of parenthood is strong! A rookery is like a clear example of survival of the fittest, the strongest, noisiest, most annoying chick is the winner in life!
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Clare Disano • Editor