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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Killdeer Eggs

Even though there is a lot to do inside, the is also a lot to do outside. So with the nice weather, I have been trying to get the property cleaned up and in a bit more order.

One of the things I have been doing is cleaning up the wood pile. We hadn't really made plans for our wood pile in the fall, so in front of our house we had a sprawling wood mound. There was still a good amount of logs that weren't burnt up from either being too wet or too big, and there was also wood chips and bark all over the ground. So I spent some time last week stacking the logs and raking up the yard. Although the wood pile still needs to go somewhere else, this will do for now.After I had raked up the wood chips and bark, I loaded them up in the lawn cart and dumped them by the septic drain to add more organic matter in hopes of slowing down the runoff.

A few days later I went to see if the chips were doing anything. On my way back, as I was walking over the rocks that were left on the ground from the installation of the septic system, I was startled when a bird flew out from almost under my feet. When I looked down I saw four eggs neatly arranged on the rocks. After closer inspection I saw the broken grasses which formed the nest.

It didn't take me long to figure out that it was a killdeer nest. Close by was the momma killdeer trying to lead me away from the nest. She would walk a bit and then get on her side and flap her wings to pretend she was injured. When I walked over to her she hopped up, ran further from her nest, and did it again.

Every few days I check on her to see if there are any babies. Now she flies when I am about 20 - 30 feet away. Without her staying on her nest until I am there, it is quiet difficult to find the nest since it blends in so well.

Thankfully I can follow my husband's tractor tracks. If you look closely at the first picture, you might see that he was 3 inches from running over her nest when we were putting up fence!


Cathy said...

How very neat. You can barely see their eggs. I think Killdear are neat birds and what a neat opportunity to see some babies (soon).


Melissa said...

I remember a killdeer making a nest in my church's gravel parking lot once. The guys dragged a couple of logs over to block off the parking spot the nest was in. I'm not sure if any of the babies survived (I'd be surprised if they did, actually), but the logs stayed there until the end of the season.

Lovely blog! Some day I'll get my own farm...

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