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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


It was a late evening walk, an hour or so after dark and the skies were beautiful. There were wreaths of gauzy clouds floating lazily in the night sky with the stars showing themselves through the haze and the moon was brilliant and almost full. Our walking track consists of MIL’s driveway and a good portion of it is on top of the dam of their pond. The lights of the sky were also reflected in these waters adding to the mystique of the walk. The pond is almost full to overflow, which is odd due to several years of semi-drought.

During the walk I kept hearing the unmistakable call of a killdeer – an odd, medium-sized bird in the plover family. This flighted critter builds its nest right out on the ground and depends on the camouflage egg color and trickery to keep varmints away from its future young. If someone or something gets too close to the nest, it will act wounded by flopping around and dragging a wing to draw them away from the area of its eggs.

Even after they hatch, the adults act the same way in protecting them as much as they can until the young can fend for themselves. Plus the little ones will freeze in place and they are very hard to identify in the grass because they are almost the same color as their surroundings. I just couldn’t figure out why this bird was calling out so much because I didn’t think they were active this late at night.

Several years ago I had an experience with one of these birds that illustrated in real life the things I had read and seen on TV. As I try to do at least a couple of times a year, I was mowing the front yard when I noticed that one of these killdeers started doing its act each time I got close to a certain spot. This happened several times and I determined to try and find the nest because it was the time of year that eggs would be present and I didn’t want to run over them.

Getting in the general area, I started a careful search for the nest and after several minutes finally found it and it contained three eggs. That small spot and some surrounding area was left un-mowed on that particular day. Needless to say, the killdeer didn’t know that I was avoiding that spot on purpose and it was caused much consternation and went through every trick it knew to try and draw me away from the nest.

The instincts for survival placed in the creatures of God’s creation have always amazed me. It is as though some tiny chip of information about all it needed to know was placed in its brain to help it survive in a cold, cruel world. All I can say to that is, WOW, didn’t God do good? ec


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We did good too. Thanks for caring for the wee critters.

3/08/2007 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I love to watch birds and have a cockatiel that's got quite a personality. I call him my guard bird because he lets me know when someone is outside.

If you wouldn't mind sending me your email addy at (dian1954 at gmail dot com), I'll send you a photo of a Killdeer who made her nest beside a busy path next to a fence at the baseball park.

3/08/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

I enjoyed reading this very much!

Yes! God did good!


3/08/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - It was not always so, but the older I get the more I care for all living things. I will make an exception in danger, but most all critters are safe with me.

Brenda - I've heard of others with a watch bird. The large farm geese are said to be excellent in that department. I sent the address along, let me know if you don't get it.

Junierose - Thanks, I am a watcher and appreciator of God's creations and critters. ec

3/08/2007 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

YOU did good! We love the little killdeer too, and have watched them present this pattern, too. It is quite a show.

3/08/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Bonita - It is definitely one of, if not the best actor in the bird family - fascinating stuff that they know how to do that. ec

3/09/2007 10:48:00 PM  

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