Just like many other place in the world where there are birds, there are birders who appreciate what birds do. I have come to appreciate the magic moments that birds live by taking pictures and video of the little gems that shine with radiating life.

On a recent trip to the east slope of the Tropical Andes I found two species that gave me the opportunity to soak some of their beauty and marvel at their parenting skills that helped them survive for all these centuries.

First meet the Torrent Duck family. These amazing swimmers have a name that makes honor to their ability to swim on rivers where the torrential waters become their home. We followed this family downstream while their little (one) chick learned to catch water larvae (aquatic invertebrates) probing and peaking underwater to discover his new aquatic world. During this event the baby explored the upper and under world while the parents followed him and only guided him when required.  The active young duckling never stopped to rest and kept his parents very busy.

Mom and Dad

Torrent Family

Torrent Baby

Now meet the Turquoise Jay family where mother and father contribute to the feeding of the fledgling. The baby was like a motion detection alarm that started calling as soon as his parents would approach him within a few meters of his perch. This was much larger fledgling as compared with the Torrent Duck chick but he was not interested in searching for food and remained mostly inactive until the parents came close in range.

Working parent:

Feeding chores:

The well fed fledgling:

Turquoise Jay Fledgling

The work and dedication of the parents is obvious. Their team work was a lesson on survival, cooperation, caring instinct, and a reminder of why I love birding and why I support conservation.

Written by Renato
Renato was born in Quito, Ecuador and quickly flew to the USA to learn all about engineering and climbing company ladders. After getting his engineering degree from the University of Minnesota he worked in the Standard-American-Rat-Race-Company for fifteen years. After climbing the ladder to where he could no longer see the ground, he decided to jump off the ladder and migrate south like all normal birds do. To his surprise home did not look like it did when he left as a young fledgling; the towns were bigger, most of his friends had nests of their own, and the countryside was changed. Shocked by all the change he searched for a new life and a new wife. He stumbled across a vivacious young chick who would accompany him inside a volcanic crater to set up a love nest. So, after eight years of nesting inside the crater a new love for nature and birds has sprung a career in environmental conservation and birding tours. Finally this bird has come home to roost!