Our mother Killdeer was a bit more frantic and purposeful today in her attempts at deception.
And we soon found out why. Her nest was not filled with eggs as we expected, but with tiny killdeer hatchlings. Summer is the season for baby Killdeer, and it turns out that, though they are shorebirds, nesting far from water is not uncommon. The baby birds are classified as precocial, meaning “ripened beforhand.” They differ from the helpless altricial hatchlings which require constant care and monitoring by the parent, entering the world helpless and noticably less than cute. These little guys, on the other hand should be up and around in no time! There’s a nice post here about “The Precious Killdeer.” Of the babies they say, “just seeing one will bring a smile to the grouchiest face in town.” Since spirits here have been pretty low recently, what with all the uncertainty surrounding State Parks future in light of the budget crisis, we surely welcome an antidote to the grouchiness.