Friday’s Feathered Friend
Killdeer added to my Birding Life List in April of 1986
`largest of the ringed plovers and the only double-banded plover
`probably the most familiar shorebird in North America
`in the summer it is found across (almost) the entire continent south of the tundra
`two black bands across chest
`red eye ring
`slim black bill
`bright rufous-orange rump and upper tail coverts
`long-pointed wings with long white stripe
`loud cry sounding like, kill-dee or kill-deear
`monogamous, solitary nester, often returns to same mate and breeding site
`nests on open ground
`juveniles are similar in appearance, but have only one black band across the chest
- **information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, Birds of North America**
On April 10th we arrived in Kerrville, Texas staying for three nights at the Buckhorn Lake Resort. Howard and I were out walking the doggies and we heard then spotted a pair of Killdeer. After a few minutes of watching them we discovered they had three babies. These little guys were running all over the place and their parents were going crazy trying to keep track of them. I read that the babies feed themselves, but the parents tend to them. They will fly at around 25 days old.
I was so disappointed I didn’t have my camera with me. I ran back to the coach, picked up my camera and ran back to take a few shots of the babies. Well, I don’t know where they went, but I never did spot them again.
However, I did capture one of the parents faking injury to lure me away from the babies. It was amazing to watch this display. I had only seen this performed once before by a Nighthawk.
I didn’t want to disturb the family too much so I stayed well back from them.
Under behavior in one of my bird books it states the following about this fake injury display and it is very actuate.
Leads intruders away from nest and young with “broken wing” act, rapid calls, one or both wings dragging, tail spread, and often limping or listing to one side.
It can be entertaining as well as educational!