Killdeer arrive in April and stay all summer. They lay their eggs on gravel – just dig a little hole, anywhere in the lane way so once we notice where they are we mark them off so as not to run them over. A precocial bird is “capable of moving around on its own soon after hatching. … which are totally independent of their parents”. Killdeer falls into this category. It takes 20-23 days before the babies will fly. Unfortunately a lot of the young don’t make it as foxes or other birds get them. Click here to read more about Killdeers.
The Killdeer nested at the end of April, she had 3 eggs on the nest, then we had a snowstorm and very cold weather (-12C). Unfortunately, the eggs were covered in snow and she could not protect them from the cold, so they froze. I noticed 2 more Killdeer running around on our laneway so maybe they will try again.
The Killdeer nested quite early this year, in May! They usually nest in July. After I took the photo, I noticed there are now 4 eggs in the nest. There was a 2nd set of 4 eggs at their usual July nesting time! They hatched on July 28th, we were very luck to be able to watch them leave the nest and run around. The ‘miniature’ killdeer are so cute! The 4th egg never hatched so after a couple of days, the mother took her chicks elsewhere but she came back a few more times to check on the last egg. The fetus never formed properly.