A Bird in the [S]and...  

You've heard the old saying, "A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush", but we've found that for these feathered friends its, "A bird in the sand...". They've made a nest out of a sandy spot in our side yard! As you can see, it's right out in the open, not hidden in a bush or a tree as most other birds prefer.

Bull saw a bird sitting on the ground one day about a week ago, and though it was hurt. So, he started over toward it and it started limping around with one of it's wings out, which looked for all the world as though he was right --it's wing was broken. Then he saw the egg.

There was a depression in the dirt and a single, speckled, egg was resting sweetly in it.

He called us all out to see it. I ran back in and got the camera and took a few pictures of the egg. And since the hen had long since given up on making us believe we could have a quick lunch if only we would follow her away from the nest, she and her mate were perched in some trees at the edge of our property.

We didn't know what kind of bird this was so I posted the pictures on WellTellMe and asked my OLFs [OnLine Friends] if they could, well, ...tell me. ;D

They said it was a killdeer. Killdeer make their nest on the ground in open areas and they will pretend to be injured in order to lure predators away from the nest. The eggs are camouflaged really well by the dark speckles. Even when you are standing very close to them, they are surprisingly hard to spot.

I looked up some info on them and found out that the hen lays one egg a day for four days before she starts incubating them. So, we had found them on day one.

I also found that the eggs incubate for four weeks! Bull was ok with that --no mowing the side yard for a month.The reason they incubate so much longer than other birds, is because Killdeer do not feed their young in the nest. The babies hatch and immediately start following mom and dad around hunting for food.

So I decided to take photos periodically, to document the experience... and so that, just maybe, I'll get a photo of the babies before they are gone.

I'll keep you posted.


P.S. All the close-ups were taken with a "zoom" lens, I wasn't actually that close to the birds or the eggs. Also, if you look closely at the photos of the Daddy bird standing over the nest you can see the eggs on the ground between his feet.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2008 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .



Mommy shoe me how pleeeeeys.