Everyone here at Cedar Summit Farm is anxiously waiting for the four well-camouflaged Killdeer eggs to hatch. The nest is on the west side of the creamery, along the roadway that we stabilized a few years ago with a load of four inch crushed limestone rock. The Killdeer have the nest hidden among the rocks and the few spears of grass that grow there. Classified as a shore land bird, they rarely nest near water and have two black stripes across their white chest. Their call is a distinctive two syllable “kill deer”.
Our son and creamery manager, Mike, called me from the creamery last week wondering if we will move the two cows and four bulls along that road to a different pasture. That is when he told me about the Killdeer nest. Fearing for the nest on the edge of the roadway, we agreed to put two milk crates with empty bottles near the nest so a truck coming into our loading dock would not drive over it. We did move the cows and bulls on Monday after carefully stringing the polywire to have the animals avoid the nest. I did worry about all the truck and foot traffic among the road as the Killdeer always runs from the nest feigning injury in an effort to distract everyone from the nest. This is a natural reaction on its part, to keep predators away from their young. Florence put my mind at ease saying that the weather was warm enough that the eggs will be fine. Click here to watch a short video of the parent’s “broken wing act”.
I told the grandkids, who are currently living with us, to watch for the young hatchlings that resemble little yellowish cotton balls on stilts searching for bugs. Spring is truly my favorite time of the year. Just yesterday Mama duck hatched 12 little ducklings and is outside now showing her brood what to eat.
Since Dave wrote this blog post, the Killdeer eggs have hatched!