May 112009

Killdeer are a common sight around the farm and especially in the spring, we know to watch for their nests in the gravel. They seem to pick the most inhospitable spots for their nests, but of course, the nesting areas are just perfect for them. God has given them a sense of what works best. The eggs and baby chicks are nearly impossible to spot among the rocks, even when you know where they are, unless you look really carefully.

This is the first year I have had the privilege of watching a pair from soon after the eggs were laid till hatch. It was a really interesting study of God’s design.

4-15-2009 (4) April 15, 2009

Five eggs in the nest.

A few days after this, one of the eggs was missing. No clue as to what happened to it.

4-23-2009 (50)April 23

Mamma killdeer on nest.

She seemed to get used to me coming around and didn’t become as nervous as she had at first. She’d sit tight on the nest instead of instantly trying to divert my attention from it. Both mamma and daddy killdeer will put on a “broken wing” display when there is a potential threat to the nest or chicks.

5-4-2009 (65)

4-24-2009 (13)April 24

Through all the time the killdeer was on the nest, we received several torrential rains. Much of our ground was underwater – but the pair had picked a nicely drained spot for their nest. Mamma took the discomfort of sitting on those eggs through the rainstorms to protect them and keep them warm. Amazing.

5-2-2009 (44)May 2

First chick hatched!

I came upon the nest and saw a fuzzy ball tumble-run one way while mamma killdeer did her broken wing display heading the opposite direction.

5-4-2009 (30)May 4

Second chick hatched!

I came upon the nest apparently soon after this baby emerged from the shell. The little one was still wet and weak. Mamma wouldn’t go far from the nest and instead of trying to divert my attention she stood her ground and acted like she might attack me if I came too close. I didn’t see the other chick so I started to look around. I soon saw “junior” across the road with daddy.

5-4-2009 (32)

5-4-2009 (38)

A little while later, the new chick is dry.

5-4-2009 (62)

Later that day the new chick was apparently ready enough to go on his own so mamma left the nest to distract me away.

5-2-2009 (36)

The morning after the second chick was hatched I went by the nest to see what was happening. Mamma and babies were nowhere to be found. That evening as well as for the next few days every time I checked on the nest there was no sign of the adults or chicks. Two unhatched eggs were left.

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