Friday, June 17, 2016

The Killdeer Nest

While going on a walk through the bin yard recently I noticed two killdeer acting upset and knew they probably had a nest nearby.   After looking around the area and not seeing anything, the children and I walked closer to a small slough behind our house, almost immediately the male killdeer flew over and landed about 15 feet from us, chirping and fluffing his feathers to look bigger.  We started slowly toward the bird. He held his ground until we were around five feet from him (I was impressed by his bravery, even with five rambunctious loud children walking toward him he didn't back down.)  at which point he flew a short distance away giving a piercing loud call, and began dragging his left wing in the familiar killdeer behaviour.  I knew then that the nest was very close and I told the children to hold still for a minute while I walked forward looking closely at the surrounding ground.  There it was! Four camouflaged eggs lay tucked together right in front of where the killdeer had been standing. :)  

The iPad I was using to take these pictures doesn't do a great job, but you can kind of see the male killdeer in the middle of this picture. 

The nest! 

Getting a closer look. 

 The spotted eggs. 

After getting a few pictures, we quickly backed away and watched until the mother bird returned to the nest. 

In a few days I hope to walk back out and see if the eggs have hatched. Because killdeer chicks are precocial, we might have a tough time finding them, but I hope we will at least be able to see them even if it's from a distance.   Brave as they may be, we don't want to upset mom and dad killdeer too much. Lol 

I enjoy bird watching a lot.  Lately I've noticed a few Northern Flickers feeding on the  ground in the front yard, William called me today saying "Look Mom there's a duck!" turned out it was a Northern Flicker. :)  Humming birds have been fun to watch in the back yard, and for several days I was almost positive I was hearing the distinctive, almost annoying call of the cedar waxwing, but could never spot any. A few days later I looked out the living room window and sure enough there they were! They are beautiful birds. 

"O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches."  Psalm 104:24 


Sister in the Mid-west said...

I really enjoyed reading about your encounter with the killdeer and seeing the pictures! :)
Growing up, on my parents property, we would usually see a few pairs of killdeer nesting every summer. The babies are so cute! It is fun to watch them toddle after their mommy! :)

Sunshine Country said...

How neat! I've seen some Killdeer birds around here occasionally also; that would be neat if I could find a nest sometime! Cedar Waxwings must have a widespread range of where they migrate. I've seen some here about a month ago, and of course they always passed through Florida also. Their call is always easy to recognize, for sure. :) To me it sounds sort of like a really high pitched "see! see!". :)

A Heart of Praise said...

Thank you for the comment Sister in the Mid-west! That's neat you were able to see and watch killdeer when you were younger! This is the first time I've found a nest with eggs so I was very excited. :) I agree the babies are so cute, I've actually only seen one baby several years ago, so I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing these ones once they hatch. :)

A Heart of Praise said...

That would be neat if you could find a nest as well Sunshine Country! :) Funny, I was trying to describe the Cedar Waxwings call to Graham, and I couldn't think of a good way too. You are exactly right, their call does sound like a high pitched "see!" :) I was looking them up the other day and was surprised they have such a large migratory range, something I didn't know before. Thanks for the comment! :)