Some were courting, some were actually mating, some were laying eggs, some were sitting eggs, or even chicks, some were ashore because they themselves were molting and could not go to sea. But best of all were the “wooly-boolys” the absolutely adorable fledging chicks who were fully covered with chocolate-brown downy feathers. They are often larger than the adults and are just so much fun to watch. They are hungry all the time as young birds always are and kept begging any adult to feed them. However, they have no chance of cadging a bite fromanybody except their own Mom andDad.
They walk determinedly along behind the adults, following closely and matching step for step. They look like little old men in dark overcoats toddling along the city streets, resignedly persistent in their determination to get somewhere despite the slowpace. Courtship is a very interesting procedure. Groups form and it is impossible for us to tell how many males and females there are. All sorts of behaviors go on: head bobbing, neck stretching and scrunching, walking in tandem mirroring each other’s strides, neck nuzzling, bill pointing, crossing, and clacking, as well as trumpeting, and displaying their
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