Killdeers in the field

Killdeer nest in our field

Killdeer nest in our field

Late April and early May we have been very busy preparing the fields: spreading compost, tilling, making beds, mulching… Then we get to plant, plant, plant! This is also the time when our little feathered friend the Killdeer lays their first batch of eggs!

"Oh, my broken wing!"

“Oh, my broken wing!”

We always keep a lookout for the tell-tale “broken-wing” act that killdeer parents will do to lure you away from their nest. The goal of course is to lure a predator away from the nest and after a seemingly injured, flapping bird. When they get away from the nest, the parent killdeer miraculously recovers and flies away. Killdeer nests are very well camouflaged in the field so it takes a bit to find them even when you get an idea where the parents seem to get protective.

Our current nest is right in the middle of the main field where we recently dug out the overwintered carrots. Of course we are tilling and preparing beds for planting now so Tim has skipped over that section of the field and we’ve adjusted some of our planting plans until the eggs hatch.

Killdeer chick

Killdeer chick

Luckily the babies are ready to run just a few hours after they hatch so once that happens, we won’t need to worry anymore because the family is all on the go that very day. Killdeer chicks are so funny and cute. I think they just look like little puffballs on toothpicks. I think these guys should be hatching within the week.

Upper Valley neighbor Mary Holland posted about the killdeer nesting season as well last week.

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