Killdeer

Killdeer

We usually call them screetchers because they make so much noise, but if you take your time they will eventually get used to you and stop making so much noise. I think they are pretty birds and have a lot of character. Maybe it is the long legs?

Notice how large those eggs are in comparison to the size of the bird’s body? That’s gotta hurt!

They were starting to get ready to play the runaway broken wing game.

Killdeer Puffed Up - May 17 2013 (336K) killdeer

They had just started to flutter but not quite run away yet. Pretty wings!

Killdeer Wings - Apr 25 2010 (887K) killdeer

I love the patterns they make on their eggs.

Killdeer Eggs - Apr 25 2010 (303K) eggs

The, err, ride of the lone ranger?…

Killdeer Egg - May 16 2012 (2215K) eggs

I think they adjust pigmentation upon the background, but I’m not 100% sure of that. The same nest later after she finished laying…

Killdeer Eggs - May 27 2012 (422K) eggs

And yes, the eggs can be even more colors…

Killdeer Eggs - May 11 2016 (312K) eggs

After they hatch they are not around in the nest for long - one or two days and they are off and running. I was very lucky to be around when they were actually hatching and got these pictures. The first picture was about a half hour before the second one.

Killdeer Hatchlings 2 - May 21 2013 (436K) hatchlings

Aww! Very interesting to see how they manage to fit those long legs inside that shell.

Killdeer Hatchlings 4 - May 21 2013 (436K) hatchlings

And from another time. More fuzzballs.

Killdeer Fuzzballs - May 20 2010 (568K) hatchlings

When we are working in the spring gardens, they are often nesting in one of the nearby pathways. If I don’t move too fast at one time and don’t get too close they won’t even stop sitting on the eggs. At least once they get used to me being around. I’ve also thrown them worms and bugs to eat. I’m not sure they ever ate a worm, but they did eat a bug. They have learned to make nests inside the fenced gardens because of our many raccoons, possums, skunks, etc. Many years they still don’t make it to hatching. Those that do seem to come back year after year. I know this because they are still rather tame in response to me being around compared to others that have shown up.