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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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May 1, 2011

Return of the Killdeer

A year ago, when I was first introduced to our resident Killdeer pair, I became enamored by them.  The pair of them found their way to our front yard to make their nest and lay their eggs.  I watched them everyday. 

This spring, once again I've come across a Killdeer pair.  Not in our front yard, but down on the ranch near the milking parlor, amongst the walnut orchard.

They lay their eggs in a nest they've built on the ground, usually in a gravel area.  The amazing thing about this species is when they see a 'predator' coming in their direction, like me, the male or female, whom ever happens to be watching over the nest at the time,  immediately run from the nest and fake a broken wing in hopes to draw the predator towards them and then fly away when he gets closer. 

My first attempt in trying to find the nest of eggs was unsuccessful, but I knew I was close.  Whomever was watching over the nest, mama or daddy, spotted me before I spotted her and ran in the opposite direction, and played the broken wing maneuver he had mastered.

I carefully searched for the camouflaged nest of eggs by slowly walking through the orchard, careful not to step on the nest of eggs.  I was unsuccessful.

But today, knowing the vicinity of where the nest might be, I snuck up on mama or daddy, who happened to be nesting at the time and was able to pinpoint the nest.  Looking very similar to the nest I found last year, here it is.


Unlike last year, I'm hoping this nest will survive and I'll be able to capture some pics of the babies.  But for now, I'm thrilled to have participated in this egg hunt today. 

I'll keep you posted.

Related Posts:
"Killdeer, My Very Own Egg Hunt 2010"
"A Bit of Bad News on the Killdeer 2010"

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