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Old Jun 12, 2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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I was lucky to come across a killdeer couple at their nest. In fact, I almost stepped on the nest before I saw it! The pair gave me the whole broken wing act to draw me away. Before I left I snapped this shot. It's a bit soft.


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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:16 AM   #2
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I'd love to see that broken wing act. Unfortunately my killdeerhasn't performedfor me yet.
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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Now the broken wing act is one picture I do have.

I know the background is really interesting (the neighbors driveway).

OH well we make do with what presents itself.

Here ya go, broken wing act.


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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:41 AM   #4
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geoffs,

Nice picture. Isn't it amazing how brave those little birds can be.

Good action shot of the mother protecting the nest full of eggs.

Unfortunately the nest in my neighbors driveway was raided by magpies, so no baby killdeer shots. Does anyone know when the baby Killdeer will be hatching, I am guessing it should be soon.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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Normcar wrote:
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I'd love to see that broken wing act. Unfortunately my killdeerhasn't performedfor me yet.
Norm, thanks for peeking in on this topic and commenting. You'll probably only get them to perform for you if they are guarding a nest - at least that's my experience. If they aren't currently nesting, rather than do the broken wing thing, they just fly a few yards further away.
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 12:34 PM   #6
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zoomn wrote:
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Now the broken wing act is one picture I do have.

I know the background is really interesting (the neighbors driveway).
Zoomn, I can match you and up you one with regard to the really interesting background :-)

Here ya go (your picture is much sharper and illustrative, btw):


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Old Jun 25, 2004, 12:43 PM   #7
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zoomn wrote:
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Nice picture. Isn't it amazing how brave those little birds can be.

Good action shot of the mother protecting the nest full of eggs.
Thanks, zoomn.

These little birds have become very used to human presence. I've found them to have very little skittishness around me. However, when protecting a nest and young they'll sacrifice all. That's true of many, but not all, wildlife I've studied.

Here's a closeup of the eggs in the nest:


And the same nest after some of the eggs had hatched (notice how well camouflaged the young nestlings are:

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Old Jun 25, 2004, 12:44 PM   #8
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I always think that display is neat, but its also one that I don't see for long as I leave the area. The odd thing is that I've seen a Robbin do it! I know that more than killdear do it, but a robbin was a surprise.

I think their plumage makes this display look even better!

Eric
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 1:03 PM   #9
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Eric, I haven't ever seen a robin do the broken wing thing. That must have surprised you.

I went to the Cornell University website for birds (a great resource, located here), looked up the killdeer, and read the following:

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The broken-wing act used to lead predators from the nest would not keep a cow or horse from stepping on the eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.
I'd love the catch a killdeer performing the behavior described above. I never even knew that let alone ever seeing it. However, I have seen that behavior from female pheasants guarding their nest. In fact, I've had them perform it on me - scared the dickens out of me :-)
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