Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Baby Killdeer

We have a new baby at home. Hanging out on our gravel road.

Killdeers are way fun to observe. They were skittering along down the road as fast as their skinny long legs could take them. It was so funny to watch.

I got tons of really good closeups of the mom. An improvement over what I had previously.

Very pretty eye:

I don't know if it would be called the "distraction display," as in fake an injured wing, but she did oddly crouch down and sometimes fanned out her tail. And I got a picture of her colored rump. Cornell said it is bright orange, but it looked more gold to me.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
"bright orange-buff rump"
Has a pic of one in flight that has a good view of that colored rump or tail.

wiki (video of distraction display.)
The Precocious Killdeer
GOOD read and pics on baby killdeers.

Baby birds that hatch with their running shoes on are called precocial.
Precocial means "ripened beforehand." [killdeer, for example]

Birds that hatch blind, naked, and helpless are called altricial, which comes from a Greek word meaning "wet nurse." [robins, for example]

Killdeer nest on open ground, often on gravel. They may use a slight depression in the gravel to hold the eggs, but they don't line it at all, or line it only with a few stones. Since there is no structure to stand out from its surroundings, a killdeer nest blends marvelously into the background. Furthermore, the speckled eggs themselves look like stones...

It takes 24 to 28 days of incubating for the chicks to hatch....

But baby killdeer are small, bright-eyed, fluffy replicas of their parents. Just seeing one will bring a smile to the grouchiest face in town.

No comments: