Welcome to the first installment of The Killdeer Chronicles!
Do you recognize this bird?
We didn’t either, when we first spotted one like it ten or so years ago in some gravel along the Burger King drive through near a former home. Little did we know we’d soon become very familiar with them, since they’ve been seasonal residents in the back yard of our current home each summer since we moved here seven years ago. It’s called a Killdeer, and it’s a shorebird who doesn’t live at the shore! These ground-nesting birds prefer fields and open areas and are common at golf courses, in residential areas, along the side of rural roads, parking lots, even strip malls! They like to nest in gravel and we’re assuming that’s why they like our yard since half of it is grass and the other half is (you guessed it!) gravel-pathed gardens.
This year’s mating pair have been poking around our yard on and off for about the past month, building two nests within the past two weeks. Soon we could tell which they would pick, and today they laid their first egg!
As you can see, it’s well-camouflaged. In fact, most years we don’t know where the nest is and we have to tip-toe around for awhile until we can find it. Finding it is usually not a simple task! It just so happened we watched them build this one so we knew the general area. Here is a closeup of the egg.
We’re excited to introduce you to these fascinating birds over the next month or so, and hope you can enjoy the breeding process right along with us. Glad you’re here!