SWEET BIRDS O' THE SHORE: Many people are drawn to a shoreline for its epic vistas, its wave-crashy sounds, the possibilities of finding the perfect shell, or for the general briny atmosphere. But others? They're all about the shorebirds, which flightless or not, or colony-minded or not, endlessly fascinate, living, as they do, betwixt water, air, and land. "Betwixt" perhaps seems too poetic a word to appear in next to something with "common" in its name, but there's not much common, to we human bird-lovers, about the common murre. It does spend quite a bit of time in the water, but it makes for land when chicks are due.
SOMETIMES... though, chicks arrive inside world-famous institutions, as some common murre babies did at the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few weeks back. "It's the first time we've had baby murres at the Aquarium!" trumpets the aquarium's blog, which includes a gif of a murre chick eating (you're allowed and encouraged to "awww"). Different murre moms laid the eggs, which hatched at the end of August. And while the babies are being raised off stage, the public'll get a first peek at them come mid-October. The mothers have interesting histories -- one arrived in Monterey after weathering an oil spill -- so get the full 411 on these cuties before seeing them in person.
THE FEETSIES: We'd never forgive ourselves -- well, maybe eventually, but not for some time -- if we left this post without admiring the large and seemingly cumbersome feetsies of the baby murre. Can we type "feetsies" in a post that also contains a highbrow term like "betwixt"? Well, we just did. And surely those feet aren't cumbersome at all for the chicks, but, my, they are on the comical side, at least to our people eyes. And now, we fight the urge to type "adorbs" or somesuch. Fighting. Still fighting.