May 19, 2008

Bird Report

We discovered a killdeer nest in the pasture. First, we saw the killdeer mom pretending to be injured to get our attention, we assumed to keep us from walking near her nest. We stood back and waited for the mom to calm down and return to the nest area. Even with that hint, we had to look for awhile to find the four gray speckled eggs parked on top of a cow pie. Steve cordoned the area off with 4 step-in fence posts and some electric wire to discourage the horses from stepping on the eggs. About 3 days later, the eggs hatched. Killdeer chicks are hatched more developed than most birds and are able to leave the nest within days. Note the large, strong legs enabling them to run and hide. Sure enough, these chicks were gone from the nest 2 days later.
A week after hatching, I saw the adult birds swooping around protectively, so I looked for the young. I saw one chick, about a third the size of an adult, scuttling down the dirt bank toward the creek. The coloring was exactly the same as the adults, but it still looked fuzzy. The poor little guy was hurrying so fast that he tripped on his oversized legs and fell on his beak. He got right up, though, and scurried into some brush.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a cute picture. Pretty amazing that these birds can leave the nest so soon after hatching.



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