Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Killdeer Nest

After 27 years of flying over what I believed to be a perfect nesting site, a pair of Killdeer has begun egg laying at Blue Jay Barrens.  This is the first egg in what I hope will be a successful nesting attempt.

I have always thought this would be an ideal place for a Killdeer’s nest.  The ground is fairly level and rocky and there are a couple of acres that are open enough for newly hatched chicks to easily move around.  I see Killdeer in the area every year, but this is the first time they’ve been on the ground.  I’ve always wondered why they are so willing to nest in driveways or playgrounds or golf course fairways, but wouldn’t nest here.

The female flushed from the nest when I came up the hill.  I kept my eye on the spot she had departed and walked right up to the nest.  I might not have found it if I hadn’t been expecting to see Killdeer eggs.

The nest is just a depression scraped out of the loose stone.  It will be pretty crowded by the time the clutch is complete.

The flat white stone makes it easy to locate the nest position from a distance.  Incubation period for Killdeer eggs is about 25 days, so if the female lays an egg a day and stops at the normal four eggs, I should expect to see young Killdeer on the hill in about four weeks.  Now that I know the nest is there, I’ll avoid that area and give the birds some peace.  I’m hoping for the best.


  1. Killdeers are really kool.

    When I was a kid and had a local paper route, there was a mother Killdeer with 6 eggs in a rocky nest right out in the bare open of a vacant dirt lot I had to cross through. It was only by accident that I discovered the nest. Everytime I cut through that dirt lot shortcut, she'd pop up and do her broken wing trick for me. I knew she had a nest somehwere.

    Eventually the chicks hatched, all but one. She took off with the others, so I took the last egg home. Sure enough I could here movement within the egg. I had a shoebox and heating pad on low and yes the chick did hatch. Funny little guy as 2/3 of his body was legs - LOL

    He was easy enough to take care of and ate everything I gave him. They actually perk up fairly quickly and run around foolowing their mother like domestic hen and chicks do. He followed me everywhere, but one day my mum let the cat in the house and that was the end, but I never forgot that little experience.

    I'm glad for you Steve that you can experience them for real on your property.


  2. I hate to see you are discontinuing this blog! I have enjoyed it tremendously.

    All the very best, whatever you do, Lois.

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  4. Sorry to see you go. I found your blog such a short time ago but I will miss it anyway!.

  5. I'm also sorry to see you go. However putting Kingdom interests first and making sure of the more important things should take precedant.

    Thanks Steven

  6. Sorry to see this go, but I can imagine how much time it takes. I can hope that perhaps you'll make an occasional appearance in blogdom in the future.

    Best of success in the new endeavor.

    OH yeah, and ... Baby kildeer are the cutest little fluffy miniatures of their parents!

  7. Steve, I'm crushed you're discontinuing the blog. It's probably my favorite and I didn't comment often enough. So much great info here! With no new posts, I'll take the time now to go through your archives.

    Best wishes with your new project! And with the Killdeer family!

  8. Vaya con Dios, Steve. I'll miss the education opportunities and getting to know the flora and fauna of Blue Jay Barrens that your posts have provided. I hope, whatever your new venture is, that it gives you as much enjoyment as your blog has given me.

  9. Sorry to hear your go, Steve. I've loved reading and following your blog now for a few years and will miss your daily posts I look forward to reading. I hope you have success and have fun with whatever new projects you start up! Take care!

  10. Thanks all for the fine farewells, but it appears that I'm back.