The last few days, Ed and I have been birding North Beach. We were delighted to see that many of our wintering or migrating shorebirds were changing into their Easter finery! I grew up in a house of modest means, but one thing I could be sure of every Easter was a new dress for church. Made me start to hum the old song that many of you may remember, Easter Parade. I remembered most of the words, but was struck by the line “the photographers will snap us, and you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure.” Huh??? What the heck is a rotogravure?
So I went to my old friend Google and found that it is the color magazine section of a newspaper…remember back in the day when we actually read print news? So here were some of the birds on our beach today, changing into their breeding colors! They could be featured in the rotogravure, with Ed the photographer, snapping them.
Black-bellied Plovers…turning from their drab gray winter plumage. Many of them mottled, heading toward a full black belly.
Dunlin…turning from their drab, gray winter duds, many with darkening bellies, soon to become full black bellies and more rusty backs.
Red Knots… well on their way from drab gray to a beautiful rust color.
Ruddy Turnstones…putting on their little black vests with rusty backs, from their drab brown winter sweaters.
Piping Plovers…many in breeding colors with their full black breast bands and forehead spots, with two-tone bills. The Piping Plovers we saw today on North Beach are very likely the last of our wintering guests. They’re headed north to breed, and will be back in late July.
Easter Parade, indeed!
Article by Aija Konrad, Photos by Ed Konrad