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Published by jack elliot



Danger to the redshanks


When any danger threatens  redshank chicks, the mother redshank will give a warning call - a plaintive pipping, "tu-tu-ee" - as she takes wing.


The young birds crouch down and "freeze" at her command.


They stay absolutely still and obedient their colour blending so well with their surroundings that they are extremely difficult  to see.


While the danger remains the mother bird continues to fly around unttering her call.


When it has passed she alights some distance away, dipping her  head and breast as if hinged on her long legs.


Unobserved she will then run through the thick herbage and rejoin her chicks.


Then, and only then, will she give the word that all is safe again: the chicks come out of their "freeze" and unconcernedly look around for something to eat.




Wild creatures are always in danger, but they do not suffer fear as human beings do.


To them it is all part of the business of growing-up

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