Monday, June 15, 2009

Two, Three, Four....



Killdeer from Wikimedia Commons




I've been on a mission to find the elusive Killdeer nest and I have accomplished it! A couple days ago, I wandered upon this pebbly nest with just two eggs in it. I put my thumb beside the eggs so you have an idea of the size of them. Aren't they the speckliest?



The next day there were three eggs in the nest.



And today, four! Usually four is all they will lay and that is why when I found just two, I knew there would be more so I've been checking the nest daily. Do you see that all of the pointed ends of the eggs are tipped downward except for one? When I went back later in the day, they were all tipped downward. I don't know why, but that's how they want them. I know that hens will continually roll the eggs in the nest as they incubate them so I suppose it's the same with other birds.

Now for the exciting part....waiting for Mama and Dad Killdeer to hatch them into chicks. I plan to visit here a lot to see if just maybe Mama Killdeer lays one more egg in the nest. Then I will begin the countdown, marking it on my calendar -- 24-28 days of incubation. The tricky thing about seeing the Killdeer chicks is that once the chicks are hatched, within hours they are dry, fluffed-up, and out of the nest, following their parents on foot, pecking at the ground like hen's chicks. They are THE cutest little baby birds you've ever seen. I've mostly seen then when riding horseback. They're fairly easy to spot from up above. I hope I get to see the chicks from this nest. I'll keep visiting and waiting. Maybe I'll get a pic of Mama on the nest or of her "playing hurt."

8 comments:

  1. What a fun adventure. I hope you get to see these chicks and get a photo of mama too!

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  2. Oooh, how fun! Was the mama sqwaking at you when you were touching her nest? I can't believe it will be 24-28 days -- that seems like such a long time for those eggs to survive where they're exposed to the elements. One of my quilty peeps has a killdeer nest in her backyard and she's been watching hers too. I hope you are able to catch the babies!

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  3. Ellen, I hope to get some more pics, but sometimes it's a difficult task.

    Thimbleanna, the mama wasn't squawking at me. She flew away, but I know once they start setting on the eggs, they'll be very protective.

    Jody

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  4. A number of years ago we had a killdeer family that built their nest on our driveway, very close to the wheel tracks. We had to be very careful when we would drive down the driveway not to hit it. They did that every spring for a number of years. Then one spring they didn't return so something must have happened to at least one parent. It was so fun to watch those babies running around, and mom with her hurt wing.

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  5. I love bird watching... So I will be following your blog closely in the next few days to see if you have a new report.
    I love to see them when they fly free. I hate to go to a zoo and see the animals caged up. I hate it... That's just the way i am.
    Elsie <><

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  6. Wow, how cool and the eggs are relly beautiful xoxox Clarice

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