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Hooded Mergansers

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family of Five

Before the Birding Festival last Saturday, I'd been watching a pair of Killdeer just down the road from us.  I knew they had a nest somewhere close but they are hard to find....  they nest on the ground, usually just scrape out a depression in the dirt and gravel...  and I never did find their nest.  

Of course they gave me the "broken wing" act to try to lure me away and truth is, I didn't stay around very long as I feel like I'm harassing them.

Saturday, during the bird walk, we saw Mom, Dad, and 3 fluffy babies that didn't look far from their hatching.  The birding group watched them for a while through binoculars and Bill Sheehan told us a little about the Killdeer family.

From Wikapedia:
The killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a medium-sized plover.
The adults have a brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with two black bands. The rump is tawny orange. The face and cap are brown with a white forehead. The eye ring is orange-red. The chicks are patterned almost identically to the adults, and are precocial — able to move around immediately after hatching. The killdeer frequently uses a "broken wing act" to distract predators from the nest. It is named onomatopoeically after its call.



They were about 500' down the road from us Saturday....  but by Monday, they had moved their little family right in front of our motorhome.  That's one of the parents in front...  2 chicks in the back.

Across the driveway...  that's the other parent in front and the 3rd chick on the left.  Since these chicks hatch out fully feathered and ready to walk, it's just a smaller version of the parents.

Except they are fluffy...
Brand new feathers...  clean and not worn at all.  Maybe even a bit of down underneath it all, I don't know.

Another fluffy chick...

Look how sleek the parent is...

Those chicks will stay with their parents for another week or so, then be off on their own.  Mom and Dad are no doubt teaching them the fine art of finding their own food.

They've been hanging out in the road as well as the gravelly grassy area around our rig...  we've all been keeping our eye out for them as we drive the roads.  They're fun to watch, but I kinda wish they'd chosen another place to be.

It's early in the year...  I'll have to read up to see if they'll set another nest this year.

That's All For Today!


6 comments:

  1. Love seeing all the wild life and especially the young ones.

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  2. We have the Killdeer here as well. I've never gotten to see the chicks in person however. That's why I love your blog - I get to see a lot of birds and wildlife I wouldn't otherwise see.

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  3. The Killdeer around here nest right beside roads, drives me nuts!

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  4. Super pictures of the birds, the little ones are so cute! :c)

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  5. I love to see and photograph Killdeer, but I've never seen a baby. They are darling! Thanks for showing us. :)

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  6. It seems like Killdeer always pick the worst place to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. Yet still they flourish!

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