Awaiting Their Arrival

It was no surprise when the pair of killdeer showed up in the spring. It is our assumption that it is this same pair that show up every year and build their nest in inconvenient places on our farm. The first couple years the nest was right on the edge of our driveway. My husband put large rocks near it so that it would not get run over. After we put in the pond they nested just off the beach for a couple years.

This year when I saw the pair hanging out in the prayer garden everyday I told my husband “I’m sure they have a nest there. I just don’t know where.” I was concerned because I     didn’t want to accidently step on it. As my husband examined the area he pointed out the three eggs that were camouflaged in the wood mulch nest.

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Now we visit Momma Killdeer, who also blends into the background, every day as we walk past. She often just sits on the nest while we stand as close as five or six feet away. Other time she gets disturbed and screeches at us. I’ve reminded her several times that she was not invited to use our prayer garden as her birthing room, and since we intend her no harm she will have to put up with us. Sometimes Daddy Killdeer will show up and do the broken wing act to try to lure us away from the area.  He does this more often if Scout and Trooper are near. In prior years the boys seemed to enjoy the chase but this year they don’t seem to pay much attention.

Since they have been there for several weeks now, we expect the chicks to hatch soon. The link below says that killdeer eggs take 24-26 days to hatch and then the parents guard them for another 25 days until they are old enough to fly. Although the screeching killdeer can be annoying, the baby killdeer running around are incredibly cute. These killdeer, who are bug and larva eaters, will do their part in keeping insect populations down, and we consider them a welcome addition to our farm.

http://www.wbu.com/chipperwoods/photos/killdeer.htm

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