Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kildeer Mama and Babies

I keep forgetting to share these photos of the mama Killdeer with her babies.  This is the second batch of chicks (four of them) this year that have hatched right by my garden in town.  The owners mark off the nests so that the eggs don't get stepped on when we're working in the garden (that's what the bamboo poles are).  If you look closely you can see one little chick poking its head out.
I was there just as all the chicks were heading out of this nest where they had hatched and moving out into the field. In the photo below you can see the last little chick just thinking about leaving with its Mama.  They sure don't seem to stay in their nest very long and they grow up fast.  It's fun to see them getting bigger each time I go to garden.  You can usually spot them just by watching for their parents - they try to distract you away from their babies by calling out and pretending to be injured -  then you can catch a glimpse of their babies on legs that are exceedingly long for their bodies.
We also have loads of quail babies at home here.  Yesterday morning our cat had a close encounter with one, I snatched her up (by her tail, actually) and made her drop the little chick.  Thankfully the chick was able to makes its way back to its family.  Kitty was in the dog house for the day!


Laeli said...

My daughter once saved a squirell in that same manner! The thought of having to stand there and listen to its cries....*shudder.

Those birds are so pretty. I love their rings!

daisy g said...

How sweet is that!

Julie Wallbridge (feminist farmer's wife) said...

Amazing! I had a very similar post in mind. We have a 4 acre field that we work up every year and EVERY YEAR a killdeer circles it with the same 'come away from my babies' behaviour. When it comes time to till I get so upset watching her, knowing how unlikely it is that I will find her nest. This year I did! We have a lovely little 'goatee' of long grass in the middle of our clay field where the tomatoes are planted this year. A happy mama sat on her nest despite the disturbances. Delightful how we get to participate in these special moments. Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

I saw quail babies for the first time this year, a good dozen tiny little peepers flowing around mom and dad. That was just about the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. = )