A Day Late

The last time I checked the Killdeer nest it was Sunday evening. There were no signs of hatching.  It is Tuesday morning and I’m looking at an empty pile of rocks!  There are no Killdeer, no eggs, and no cute little chicks.  When I was considering starting this blog, I thought the Killdeer story would be a great beginning. I expected the story to culminate in photos of the hatching and the chicks resting in the nest. How disappointing!  Killdeer incubate their eggs for about 25 days, and then it only takes about 24 hours for the newly hatched chicks to leave the nest.  So this little brood is already off to heavier cover and feasting on the abundant insects on the marsh.  This was probably the second brood.  Killdeer often have two broods with the first brood incubating as early as April.  The female will start incubating a second brood while the male takes care of the first brood of chicks.[1]  Sadly, I will have to wait until next year for the opportunity to photograph Killdeer chicks.

But the marsh is always teeming with life, so I’m on to the next adventure!



[1] John Eastman, Birds of Field and Shore:  Grassland and Shoreline Birds of Eastern North America (Mechanicsburg, PA:  Stackpole Books, 2000), 71.

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