Rarely do I feature the same picture on Weekly Grist that I feature on Corndancer dot-com. Here’s why for this occasion: This picture sets the stage for Mom and Pop Killdeer as they go into their wounded bird routine. The next picture after this one was immediately after she popped off the nest and started the drama.
Click on Momma Killdeer to see more Killdeer pictures and a story.
Immediately after I shot the picture above, Ms. Killdeer exited the nest premises in a public flowerbed near a sidewalk and driveway, and went into her “wounded bird, broken wing, come get me if you can routine.” A lot of birds do the same, but I’m told that Killdeer have just about perfected the perfidy.
Like this one, many Killdeer nests are on the ground, so these thespian skills are a necessary instinct for survival. Speaking of instincts, see Momma Killdeer on her nest under extreme circumstances on the Photo of the Week page on Corndancer dot-com where this story started. We’ll wait here while you peruse the images and soak up the story.
Sometimes we tell stories with words and sometime with pictures. This time the pictures tell the tale as the two Killdeer put on a show to protect their unhatched offspring.
Ms. Killdeer was probably not much more than four feet away when she started to direct my attention away from her nest.
She immediately started to turn and see if I was following
“OK, now do I have your attention,” she says after making eye contact.
Apparently she wanted me to chase her. When I didn’t, she went to plan “B.”
While she was cogitating, I swung around and got a shot of the eggs. “Hi kiddies, look at the birdie” (heh-heh)
In the seconds my attention turned to the eggs, Sistah Killdeer moved to a grassy area near her flowerbed nest and checks me out to make sure I noticed.
Meanwhile, about 15 yards or so away. Daddy Killdeer joined the circus, wallowing around on his back. Great fakery.
Not to be outdone, Mom cranks up her act again.
She checks me out to make sure I’m paying attention (Boy am I!)
OK, you are not chasing me. I’m gonna change directions fool!
OK that’s not working, how ’bout if you chase me into this flower bed?
OK look at my wing now Clyde, it is really, actually broken. Come get me!
Meanwhile, Pop is getting back into the act a few yards away.
#@!*%!! Enough is enough! Would you PUH_LEEZE leave, split, vamoose and/or disappear?
I grabbed these images late in the afternoon. I returned an hour or so later and Mrs. Killdeer was back on the job. Some time in the last week or so, the hatch occurred and the nest is empty. A bird enthusiast told me that baby Killdeer pretty well hit the deck running. Which, I suppose is why there are still plenty of Killdeer around for us to enjoy. I wish I had been there for the blessed event, but am happy that I was able to see and record what I did. All of which continues to remind us that it is always better to be lucky than good any day of the week.
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more