Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kildeer in the veggie garden

Last summer, I had a couple of Kildeer set up nest in my veggie garden. These birds make their nest on the ground in small nests of gravel. They lay 3-4 eggs in the nest and these eggs need 24-28 days of incubation.
The parents take turns sitting on the eggs and the other stands guard. If they see anything they consider a threat, they run over and pretend to have broken wings all the while luring the threat away from the nest. When it thinks that you are far enough away from the nest, it will suddenly fly off, laughing as it flies.
The eggs are spotted and blend into the background making them very hard to see. The Kildeer in my garden was upset that I didn't leave when she played her broken wing game and after many attempts she settled back onto her eggs and watched intently as I planted my tomato's and beans. The spot she chose to make her nest was the spot I had chosen to plant my zucchini so I would have to wait until these eggs hatched!

Luckily, Kildeer chicks are born and start running before their fluff even dries. They are like mini replica's of their parents and boy can they run! They look like little pompoms with feet. Unfortunately, these eggs hatched and ran before I could get a photo of them, but I'm sure they will be back this year. But you can be sure I won't let them build a nest in my garden again!

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