Mother Killdeer nesting in Minnora driveway
Mother in her protective stance
Patty Secor sent these photos of a mother Killdeer nesting in her Minnora driveway in 2011.
Killdeer are shorebirds you can see without going to the beach, they are graceful plovers common to lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and parking lots. These tawny birds run across the ground in spurts, stopping with a jolt every so often to check their progress, or to see if they’ve startled up any insect prey.
Killdeer get their name from the shrill, wailing "kill-deer" call they give so often. Eighteenth-century naturalists also noticed how noisy Killdeer are, giving them names such as the Chattering Plover and the Noisy Plover.
The Killdeer’s broken-wing act leads predators away from a nest, but doesn’t keep cows or horses from stepping on eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.