Sunday, April 20, 2014

"I Know I Left It Here, Somewhere!"

Have you ever walked out of the mall, looked at the parking lot and thought "I wonder where I parked the car!?".  20 minutes later and after numerous presses on the car remote you discover that it was right where you parked it.
Photo by Tim Ormiston,  Harmar Township, PA.    6-12-2013
If you have, you can appreciate the dilemma every time a mother Killdeer returns to the spot on the stones and gravel where she makes her nest and has laid her eggs.  There are 4 eggs in this picture, can you locate

Photo by Steve Parsons, Harmer Township, PA   7-1-2013

This mother killdeer has found that if you  lay your eggs next to a brightly colored terra-cotta shard it can make life a whole lot simpler. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) are members of the plover family and thus technically shore birds.  They are unusual in this group because they build their nests ("scrapes") in the open, far from water and only
 re-arrange nearby rocks for their nest.

Because Killdeer live so closely to humans, occasionall,y the newly hatched chicks may need a little help in staying clear of people feet and rotating car tires.  Mother Killdeer was close by when this chick was moved out of harm's way and quickly re-grouped her brood.