Kute Killdeer Kids


We decided to take a drive to the North Shore side of San Angelo State Park.  We had received a cell phone call as we were heading for the South Shore.  It was Kim, one of the hosts at the north portion of the park.  She said that I might want to come over there and photograph a Yellow-headed Blackbird that was chasing around the prairie dog town.  Well, it was ten minutes away, and by the time we got there the blackbird was nowhere to be seen.

So we decided to just take a drive around there.  That area of the park has the North Concho River running through it.  You might say that the area is nicer than the south park area.  But I think it is because of the difference in the habitat there,  because of the huge, by west Texas standards, oak trees.  They, of course, are healthy because of the nearness of the river.  The south part, where I do most of my photography is more wild, with more mesquite, more cacti, etc.  The south portion, in addition, is about ten times larger than it’s northern counterpart.

Killdeer chick

But, to get back to my story, as we drove around we heard lots of birds singing, but they were hard to locate in the leaves of the larger trees.  But as we went through one are we spotted two adult Killdeer,(Charadrius vociferus),along with three chicks.  The chicks, who were only about four inches tall, were walking throught the grass, while the parents were going through their act, pretending to be crippled so as to draw us away from the kids.

Killdeer chick

I pulled into the grass across from the young ones, and stuck my Canon 7D with the 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter, out the window of the car.  I was lucky to be so close to get these pictures.  Exposure was 1/1000 sec. @f10, -0.3EV, ISO 250.

I don’t know where the actual nest was.  The Killdeer actually lay their eggs on bare ground, among pebbles or stones usually.  They don’t make nests as we know it.  No grass, twiggs, etc.

I hope you enjoyed this post and photos.  Click on either image to see and enlargement.

The second of my Bird IQ quizzes can be found at this link:  Bird Quiz.  You can vote any time through next Thursday.  Results will be published on Friday, April 27.  Good Luck.

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40 thoughts on “Kute Killdeer Kids

  1. Great post, Bob! Has there ever been anything more cute? They look so vulnerable! Do many of them survive to adulthood? Our local mallard ducks, that live in Ripon Canal, have just had their ‘littlies’ but very few of them survive for long. Same story every year! Such a shame, but then again, that’s nature! Glad I’m not a duck!

    Cheers

    John

  2. Love the killdeer! One laid eggs in my friends rockpile near her driveway last year. Every time someone pulled into her driveway, the parents would go nuts pretending they were crippled and squacking. It was so funny! Great photos!

  3. Killdeer chicks are adorable! because Killdeer chicks are precocial and usually hatch within hours of each other, the chicks leave the nest not long after hatching and when they are dry. The scrape/nest is abandoned after that.

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