Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/19/2017


Photo taken on June 17, 2017


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nature
annkelliott
Anne Elliott
Killdeer
© All Rights Reserved
Charadrius vociferus
east of Calgary
FZ200#4
© Anne Elliott 2017
Eagle Lake area
17 June 2017
Charadriidae family
FZ200
side view
Alberta
spring
birds
grass
bird
outdoor
standing
adult
ornithology
avian
plover
Canada
near nest


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Killdeer / Charadrius vociferus

Killdeer / Charadrius vociferus
Friends and I were lucky enough to see two Killdeer nests two days ago, on 17 June 2017, when five of us went east of the city for the day, to visit our friend, Shirley, at her seasonal trailer.

"A shorebird you can see without going to the beach, Killdeer are graceful plovers common to lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and parking lots. These tawny birds run across the ground in spurts, stopping with a jolt every so often to check their progress, or to see if they’ve startled up any insect prey. Their voice, a far-carrying, excited kill-deer, is a common sound even after dark, often given in flight as the bird circles overhead on slender wings.

The male and female of a mated pair pick out a nesting site through a ritual known as a scrape ceremony. The male lowers his breast to the ground and scrapes a shallow depression with his feet. The female then approaches, head lowered, and takes his place. The male then stands with body tilted slightly forward, tail raised and spread, calling rapidly. Mating often follows.

Killdeer lay their eggs into an empty nest but add other materials later on. Some of these items they pick up as they are leaving and toss over their shoulder into the nest. In one nest in Oklahoma, people found more than 1,500 pebbles had accumulated this way." From AllAboutBirds.

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Killdeer/id

Most of our birding was done at and near Shirley's trailer site, including seeing this wonderful owl family, two Killdeer and their nests, a Baltimore Oriole, and (finally!) a pair of Brown Thrashers. I had hoped for several years to see one of these birds, so it was a real treat to see a 'lifer'. It was far away and so high up, but I managed to get a couple of shots just for the record.

As we were walking around the grounds, two ladies stopped us and showed us some baby birds that they had had to remove from the engine of their vehicle. They wondered if we knew what kind of birds they were, but we were unable to help. I posted a photo of them yesterday morning, just in case someone can ID them. The ladies had a bird house that they were going to put the babies into, hoping that the parents would hear them calling and be able to continue feeding them.

Thank you so much, Shirley, for inviting us all out to visit you while you were there for the weekend! It was such a pleasure to see some of "your" birds that you enjoy so much. Such a great variety of species! Wow, what a lunch we had, sitting at a table under the Tree Swallow tree, with a very vocal American Robin just a few feet away. How DO some birds manage to sing non-stop?! Hot chili made by Shirley, and a whole array of delicious salads and desserts left me feeling full till the early evening.

Many thanks, Anne B, for picking up three of us and for driving us east across the prairies. Hugely appreciated!

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