Mothers Unite by Brian Gillis

 Hi.  just an update, the baby killdeer have all hatched and are running
around with mom.  All 4 hatched last weekend sometime.  Looks like
Evelyn and Theresa are now grandmothers to 4 healthy baby killdeer.

     Mothers Unite  

                    The other day, a couple of local women came across two birds acting in a way not often observed.  Evelyn Christie and  Theresa Gillis were walking along a new strawberry field of Barb and Sid Taylors,  just checking that the new plants were coming along as planned.  All of a sudden, two small birds showed up and began to get close to the women.  One would lay on the ground in a position such as it had a broken wing and could not fly.  Then it would crawl along the ground slowly getting farther away from the girls.  If they got closer it would fly away.  The other was chirping loudly and passing back and forth.    This interested them and later Theresa tried to find the bird in the bird book we have home.  She found it, the killdeer.  Certainly not as vicious bird as the name suggested.
                     The Killdeer is a common bird in our area and lays its eggs in open country usually on gravel.  They can be found on riverbanks to open pasture to strawberry fields.  Being open sounds like they are very exposed to predators such as gulls, snakes or fox etc..   The behavior the killdeer were exhibiting on the day the girls saw them was purely a parenting instinct.  The birds will pretend to be hurt, thus luring the potential threat away from the nest.  If they chase the birds, the nest will not be found.  The eggs are very small and brownish in color and look very much like rocks.  So, if ever you observe some of natures creatures acting like they are injured, they MAY be protecting their young, just like we humans would do.     (If you look carefully, you can see the nest to the left of the bird)
killdeer2 on nest 002
Killdeer nest2 015


2 Responses to Mothers Unite by Brian Gillis

  1. Dave Brown says:

    Good sleuthing and photos! Now that you’ve discovered the nest are you going to keep us posted on the progress of the brood with more pictures?
    Killdeers are becoming more common around here. I first recall seeing a family around here eleven years ago. Back in the fifties, there weren’t any killdeers in eastern Nova Scotia (check Paul McClung’s earlier Nature Corner post where he talks about species that are new to our area).
    Other plovers exhibit the same broken wing distraction. if you’ve spent time walking along the lake shore, you’ve probably had spotted sandpipers do their best to lead you away from their nesting area, only to have them fly off and circle back to their nest or brood once they’re satisfied that you are sufficiently far away from their “home”.

  2. Donnie Cameron says:

    My cat was in my garden in Purl Brook the other day and two birds started the same “act of having a bad wing” along the ground trying to lure the cat from the area. I thought they were sparrows. Now I know.

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