Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Residents

Remember my Killdeer, Hilde and Henry. They come back every year to lay their eggs on the ground and hatch new babies. You will have to look close at the picture above to see the 4 tiny chicks. I discovered the nest while mowing close by. Hilde ran out screaming "Dweep, dweep, dweep" as the mower grew close.

I stopped mowing to investigate and found her eggs. No pictures of the eggs. I just wanted to make sure they were safe. I would have felt horrible had I mown them down! I have been checking on them every day and hoping that Martha, the boy cat did not find them. I even left the weeds intact. Martha has enjoyed a delicacy of Killdeer eggs in years past. Seems I raised a murderer!

Here Hilde is covering her new hatchlings. She was frantic with her calls, so I went to investigate. I think she just wanted to show me her babies and have a little photo shoot. I had fondled all the eggs, as is my habit, while chatting with her on various occasions. I was close enough to her that she pecked my hand. She knows me and doesn't appear to be too bothered by my attention.

This is what she looked like when she was calling me. She really is a pretty little thing.

Can you see the babies? They were sleeping when I picked one up. So soft with their downy beginnings of feathers. When I settled the tiny bird on the ground he walked away from the nest. They all get up and walk soon after hatching. They will follow the parents around as they teach them to eat the bugs in the grassy fields.

While I was busy admiring the new little flock, Henry was flapping wildly in the grass. When an enemy approaches, they will abandon the nest and try to appear to be lame to lure the attacker to them and away from the nest. Henry's performance was silly and lackluster as he made an exhibit of himself.

Here is the tiny bird I held, finding his feet and walking away.

The barn swallows and Martens are busy trying to build nests, and we have a goose sitting on 6 eggs near the pond. She was not as accommodating as Hilde when I approached her nest. She hissed and stayed back. Geese can bite, you know!


ellen abbott said...

we had a killdeer lay eggs in the gravel driveway of the shop summer before last. I put a marker by the nest so no one would crush it. shy raised 3 little babies. so funny. they came back last year caught one sight of the new dog and never came back.

Val said...

Wow! You're like Dr. Dolittle!

Linda O'Connell said...

That is very exciting, and now you've earned your feathers by protecting these cuties.