Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A successful hatching

It's been a very active Spring here at the office. I've blogged about the surprise visit from the Sandhill Cranes, but I didn't tell you the longer and far more involved story of the Killdeer.

Killdeer are long-legged, shore birds living far from the shore. They run around open grasslands in pursuit of insects, worms, and grubs. Hmmm, a bit like a troll come to think of it. Anyway, killdeer nest on the ground. Their four eggs look like tiny pebbles and the bird is a master at blending into the environment. Imagine our delight when we stumbled upon a nest a few yards from the front door of our office. Mom and Dad took turns incubating the eggs through a cold, wet spring. They were utterly devoted to the task, and we left them alone as much as possible, but all kept watch for tiny movements signalling the arrival of the babies. 

Four weeks passed, and suddenly, we noticed the parents acting strangely. While one stayed on the nest, the other tried to lead us big, ugly humans away.  We knew what it meant. The babies had hatched. 
Can you see them all? Count four little heads between the long, blue legs. The didn't move as their instincts protected them. 

As much as we wanted to stay, we again left them alone. Then, the next morning, we heard a terrific fuss of tweaks outside the door, and I ran for my camera just a two babies scooted across the sidewalk trailing Momma's tail feathers. 

Aren't they cute? Miniatures of the parents, they blend into the surroundings and run nearly as fast as the parents. We watched them for a long time through the large windows overlooking the parking lot. Thankfully, only a few people work here, and they were relatively safe as long as they stayed away from the road. 

Come back tomorrow for more about the Baby Killdeer.

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