The little ‘baldies’ are growing up

Common Gallinules (also known as Common Moorhens), members of the Rail family, are extremely common in our wetland preserves. They breed all year round in Florida, and can have many broods per season.

The adults are very protective of their nesting territory and can be quite bossy, squawking loudly at anyone they perceive as an intruder.

IMG_5708The parents must be especially vigilant when their fluffy little chicks begin to venture out on their own. Sometimes I get nervous when the babies look like they’re getting a little too confident. They can appear very lost and vulnerable floating around out there by themselves on the pond.IMG_5710But just when you think a chick looks utterly alone, the parent comes swimming along to provide a safe haven.The older siblings regularly help out with child care, and can often be seen sharing a meal with the little ones. “Hey, where’d he go?”The adults still do a lot of the feeding now, too, but these chicks are beginning to find their own food, and soon they will manage quite well on their own.

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