Kildeer at the Garden Center

Kildeer Faking Injured Wing

I’ve always thought kildeer were one of the more interesting birds found in Ohio.  There are usually a pair around the garden center each year, but I don’t always locate the nest. 

Kildeer Fakeout

This spring with it’s mate circling and screeching overhead I noticed a female fanning out her feathers to get my attention and lead me away from the nest with the “Hey look at me!  I’m a weird bird!  Oooh look now!  I have a broken wing and can’t fly away…wouldn’t I be tasty?”  act.

Kildeer Broken Wing Act

Kildeer nest on the ground and have developed ways to lure predators attention from it.

 

I didn’t notice anything remotely resembling a nest till one day I saw her sitting in the coil of one of our hoses that I Kildeer in Hose Nesthad pulled out into the lot to water some trees staged there.

 

 

Kildeer Hose NestI was entertained by their acting ability each time I walked past the area.

Eventually eggs were found in the loop of hose.  ( I think the egg fairy brings them)

They blended somewhat with the surrounding stone and customers wouldn’t notice it as they walked past looking puzzled at the strange bird flopping around on the Kildeer Eggsground a few feet away.

Hatched KildeerI managed a couple pictures of the new hatchlings.
Within a couple days they were running all over the place. They seem to enjoy wading through the puddles left around our irrigated areas.
Kildeer Chicks

Pictures of the young birds now are difficult since as you approach the parents sound the warning from their lookout and the kids scatter.

I’m not sure why exactly, but this years mix of birds seems to have driven the annoying crows away.  One day I witnessed a territorial air battle.  A kildeer was circling and screeching it’s kildeer command and control mission as a more agile red-winged blackbird jet fighter harrased a lumbering crow/bomber.  When one crow was dispatched out of the area the kildeer would begin circling over another and the next blackbird mission would begin.