For a few weeks now, there has been a Killdeer couple nesting under a picnic table outside my room. These fiercely protective birds nest on the ground. They use the brown colors of the ground to blend in and disguise their eggs so as to protect them. If the camouflage doesn't work, then Killdeer use a "broken wing display" to lure dangers away from the nest. If that still doesn't do the trick, the bird will charge the danger head on to try to prevent damage to the eggs.
Knowing how middle school students are, custodians roped off the area around the picnic table with yellow "DANGER" tape. Students were curious about what was going on and why the tape was there and asked about the birds once the secret was out. Since teachers have to be outside during transitions from class to class, we kept a close eye on our mascots, anxiously awaiting the baby birds.
Friday was hatching day! The four brown speckled eggs revealed four tiny brown birds. Today our birds are gone. As soon as their feathers are dry, the babies can walk right out of their nest!
I will miss this pair of parents and the feeling of being close to nature even in an area next to a school building housing over a thousand students!
|Impossible to see the nest at this distance, but it's by the right front leg.|
|Mama or daddy sitting on the nest.|
|All 4 babies have hatched!|
|Broken wing defense in action.|