Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our Fine Feathered Friends

A killdeer guarding her nest.
One day three years ago while mowing the yard I happened upon a two birds, Killdeer (pronounced Kill-dee). They had made a nest, which was really not much more than a slight depression in the earth, on a somewhat rocky slope in our yard for its eggs. The eggs were almost perfectly camouflaged among the pieces of gravel. In fact, the only reason I even suspected eggs were nearby was by watching the actions of the mother bird.

At first, I thought the bird was injured by the way it hobbled around dragging its broken-looking wing. However, it would only do this whenever I would come close. Then, after I passed, back to the same spot in the yard would it return. Eventually, when my mowing was imminently approaching its special spot the bird stayed put and put on a very impressive show, spreading its wings offensively. Finally, I spotted the eggs. I left a bit of grass around them so that I would be reminded of their location during future mowings.

John-Heath examining the eggs. Not picking them up was almost more temptation than his little hands could handle.
These little friends have returned each year (the first two laying eggs in almost the exact same location). So for about 6-7 weeks during mowing season while the eggs incubate, hatch and grow I am privileged to a weekly show by the mommy and daddy birds. Another perk of mowing during this time of year.

P.S. My own little baby bird has temporarily left our nest and is spending the night at his Ma-Ma and Pa Gene's.

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