Saturday, May 4, 2013

hit the ground running

Hit the ground running, that describes a young killdeer.  

Leggy like their parents, killdeer hatchlings are precocial, able to see and forage and perhaps run a four minute mile soon after hatching. Once their feathers dry, they are good to go.

While at my bank yesterday, I noticed an adult killdeer scampering around the vacant lot next door. Once the home of a car wash nestled between two banks and a four-lane highway, today the building has been razed and all that's left is small chunks of concrete and broken bricks.

I thought it would be a great place to find a killdeer's nest. They are shorebirds that really don't need a shore, when heck, a flat roof top, gravel driveway or vacant lot will do. They are masters at improvising. The inland plovers are also minimal nest builders, just a shallow depression is all they need. But I was a little late. The nest site was empty and three young juveniles were scurrying about with their two parents.

Depression just below center produced three young killdeer.

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