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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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April 13, 2010

A bit of bad news......Update on the KillDeer

I'm sorry to share this bit of bad news. But I'm sure you want to remain updated on the progress of the KillDeer birds nesting in our front yard. I went out the other night to discover one of the eggs missing. The following night, a second egg was gone. Two remaining eggs. Who could be snatching the eggs? If it were a raccoon, I'm sure he would have swiped all the eggs at once.

Maybe these two had something to do with it. Dora and Diego are our feral cats living in our garage. Dora is the mother (on the right) and Diego is her son. I do like having Dora and Diego around, as they keep all other feral cats away from our house. Dora is a wild cat that no one can pet or even get very close to. Diego has become friendly, we can actually pet him now. They have both been fixed, thanks in part to 'Marin Friends of Ferals' for trapping them and bringing them down to the facility for the procedure. All that was required of me was paying for the spay and neuter and picking them up. They've lived here for a couple of years now. The Two Remaining Eggs A few days later, my kids and their cousins were outside playing, and one of them apparently came too close to the nest. They didn't step on the eggs, just close enough to the nest that caused one of the surrounding rocks to be pushed up against both of the eggs. A hair line crack in each of the eggs. The chicks had not formed yet. All that was visible was yolk.

I walked back out, just 10 minutes later to take a photo and both cracked eggs had disappeared from the nest. Looking around, I found that the mother or father bird had carried the eggs out onto the pavement where they cracked open entirely.

I was so saddened by this. I've decided if the KillDeer return to nest again in our gravel, I will section off the area with string. Maybe they will have a better chance of survival that way. Although, I can't do anything about the cats, especially once the eggs hatch.

Here is the mother or father after she/he carried the egg out. (you can see the egg in the upper left corner of the photo)
Hopefully the KillDeer will come again next spring.
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