2016 Killdeer Chicks

Each spring one (or more) killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) pair use our gravel driveway to lay their eggs. Killdeer build scrape nests, which are a simple depression on the ground with minimal lining where the female killdeer lays her buff eggs, which are heavily speckled with blackish brown.

Sometimes it is difficult for Leonard and I to protect the eggs from vehicles on our drive (near Lookout CA), but we try, even placing barriers around the eggs. This year one of the nests had three eggs. Last week all three eggs hatched.

One photograph shows the three chick immediately after they hatched about 6:30 AM. Two of the chicks were strong and immediately ran off with the male into the tall grass of a nearby pasture. The third baby appeared weak and did not leave the nest. The female stayed with the chick and cared for it. Eventually the young killdeer began to move about, however the mother did not leave the nest with the chick for about two hours. Finally, shortly before noon, the mother and baby joined the family in the safety of the tall grass.

Leonard and I were delighted that all three killdeer eggs in this clutch were viable and all three chicks survived the first hours of their lives. We will wonder each time killdeer wander around the yard if they were part of this successful 2016 nest.

 

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2 Responses to 2016 Killdeer Chicks

  1. usermattw says:

    What a little drama! It’s interesting that they haven’t learned the driveway isn’t the safest of places to lay eggs. But at least it makes for easy viewing.

    • gingkochris says:

      Every time we walk around the yard/drive (constantly) the parents begin their “broken wing display”. We can cordon off their nest, but cannot avoid walking nearby.

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