Friday, May 11, 2012

Killdeer Nest Destroyed

The Killdeer nest failed before it really got started.  Three days after I found the nest, we had a thunderstorm that produced heavy rain, strong winds and at the peak of the storm, dropped half inch hail for a full five minutes.  The egg didn’t have a chance.

I was disappointed when I checked the nest the next day.  I was also puzzled to find there was still only one egg.  I felt sure that the nest should have received one or two more eggs in those three days.  Maybe the nest was already a loss before the storm arrived.

I removed the broken egg on the off chance that the nest was still active.  I’ve read that there can sometimes be a significant time lag between eggs, although the chances are slim that this nest will see any more action.  It’s already been six days since the storm and I haven’t heard Killdeers calling at all during that time.  This empty depression will probably remain for the rest of the summer to remind me of the opportunity that was lost.


  1. Birds often produce a second clutch if they lose the first one. There is a time lag however and the whole calling and courting behavior may be partially repeated. On the other hand they may have moved on to a place where the rain isn't so lumpy. Glad you are back! Hope they come back too!

  2. Hi Becky. The Killdeer most likely are making a second nesting attempt, but they're probably making it somewhere besides here.