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.