By Gary Bogue
Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 12:28 pm in Killdeer nest.
In a gravel area at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, four Killdeer chicks hatched and are probably off hiding in the bushes by now.
Jim Silva discovered the nest in a large gravel area and put a couple of orange highway cones around it to prevent someone from driving over the invisible nest. The 4th chick hatched yesterday afternoon and the egg shells disappeared very fast!
You’ll notice the look in the mom’s eye as she realizes I’m not buying the “broken wing display” while I’m taking these pictures.
You might want to share this with your readers on your blog.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
Killdeer are amazing little birds. They lay their eggs right out in the open, on the ground or on the top of buildings with flat gravel roofs. They pick areas with small stones that look like their eggs. A killdeer nest is very primitive, basically just the eggs laid on the stones so they all look the same.
If you see a killdeer sitting on the ground this time of the year, there’s a good chance she’s incubating her eggs. The babies can run around with mom within minutes after they hatch. They have to be able to do that. A helpless chick just sitting on the ground wouldn’t survive for long.
If someone, animal or human, comes too close, mama killdeer plays like she has a broken wing and hobbles and flops along (one of the best acts in the animal world) looking like she’s hurt so she can lure you out of the area.
Thanks for letting me share these unique photos with my readers so they can see how this all works in real life.
These are truly amazing photos, Brian. /Gary