Category Archives: Killdeer

Sights of Spring

This is the day the Lord has made…

I didn’t make it out to the farm until yesterday afternoon. As I walked past the prayer garden I and looked for the killdeer eggs this is what I saw.

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“They weren’t hatched this morning” my husband said.

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Both parents were near by screeching and doing the broken wing act to try to get us out of the area. I expect the babies will be running all around the area soon. I am happy that I can weed that side of the prayer garden now.

My husband’s main task for the day was cleaning frames from the bee hives. He first lets the bees do their part. He sets out the frames that still have honey and wax and lets the bees take what they want. Once they stop visiting a frame he finishes cleaning it before putting it back in a hive.

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As I walked around the farm I observed bees foraging amongst the apple blossoms. I made many attempts at photographing them. They were too busy to pose for a picture, so this was the best I got.

IMG_2573The bees were also collecting a lot of dandelion pollen. This lady stopped for a few seconds, so I was able to get a clear shot before she moved on.

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Last week we observed something that neither my husband, who has spent much of his life around ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes, or I have ever witnessed before. The toads had all made their way to this shallow grassy area of our pond and were mating there.

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There were too many to count and as we stood there watching more toads were arriving for the party.

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Yesterday as I walked by that area of the pond I noticed tiny black tadpoles apparently just hatching.

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We also spotted minnows swimming in the beach area.

For the past two years only one of our young lilac bushes has blossomed. When I mentioned this to my son-in-law last summer he suggested that I spread wood ash around them. Last fall I did spread wood ash around all of the lilac bushes and some of our apple trees as well.

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This year 10 of our 15 lilac bushes have blossoms.

Our apple trees also have more blossoms than they ever have before.

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Several years ago around just before Mother’s day my husband and I planted some trilliums in a wooded area of our farm. These were one of my mom’s favorite wild flowers, and we planted them as a tribute to mom who passed away the same year we bought our farm.

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Mom’s trilliums are beginning to bloom, appropriately, in time for Mother’s day.

Visitors are another common sight at the farm during the warm weather seasons, and it was good to have our first visitors of spring.

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Two of our daughters, Kara and Lindell, stopped by for a visit yesterday afternoon. They were dancing as they came up the driveway since my husband had a classic rock station playing on the radio.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

 

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