Raising a Killdeer Family


Several months ago Ann and I came upon a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) nest with three eggs in it.  Actually, it really isn’t a nest as we know it.  They prefer to nest in gravelly locations.  When they are ready to lay eggs, they just scrape aside the pebbles and drop the eggs on the spot.  Then, during their nesting time, they perform their elaborate “broken wing” distraction, when the nest is approached too closely.

Adult Killdeer

Nest of Killdeer eggs.

These ‘nests’ are difficult to see, as they usually blend in with the surrounding area.  It is possible to step on one before you see it.  So you must be alert.

Killdeer sitting on eggs.

We continued to monitor the situation during later visits to San Angelo State Park, where the nest was located.  Finally, we arrived a few days after the chicks hatched.  As you can see, young killdeer have are mostly big eyes and long legs.   Also as you can see in the photo below, they, like most children, enjoy wading in the muddy water.

Young Killdeer

I hope that you enjoyed these photos and my little description of the nesting Killdeer.   Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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42 thoughts on “Raising a Killdeer Family

  1. Marvelous series, Bob! Beautiful photos, as always. I’m especially drawn to the sweet portrait of the youngster. What a thrill it must have been to run across the nest and then be able to follow the family’s progress.

  2. Beautiful images, Bob! And thanks for the lesson on them. We don’t have the killdeer where I live (too dry) but the meadowlark nests on the ground in our fields, so we’ve gotten used to looking down for nest too.

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