A family of avocets, a type of long-legged shorebird, adopted this fuzzy baby duckling. The blended family was discovered in wetlands at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, part of the massive South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project in San Francisco Bay. Here are more adorable baby photos from the bird monitoring effort in the Bay. [Read the full adoption story here.]
USGS biologists thinks it's likely the mallard duckling was separated from its family after it hatched, and then joined the avocet brood.
Adult avocets wade through a pond in this 2009 photo.
A family of tern chicks being examined by biologists with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center in California.
USGS biologist Kim Sawyer checks a black skimmer chick. Black skimmers are seabirds.
USGS biologist Andy Ganick at a black skimmer nest in the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project.