Tag Archives: Nature

Killdeer

I consider it a shame that while we live on an acreage surrounded by nature, my son shows little – if no – interest. I use to walk him around the yard and tell him the names of plants and trees, both wild and planted, because that’s what my mom would do for us. Of course I don’t think that contributed to my adult love of landscaping, but it didn’t hurt.

I make Doodicus play outside when I am out there weeding or trimming. The drama that accompanies that makes me want to bean him with the rake. The other day I let him water the flowers (which translates to spraying everything BUT the flowers with the sprayer attachment on the hose) and he saw a wasp.

“Mom!! There’s a wasp!”

*eyeroll* “Just spray it, Doodicus.”

“IT’S STILL MOVING!!!!!!!!!!”

“Then go step on it! Stop being such a pansy.”

“I HATE being outside!!”

“Suck it up ’cause you’re not going inside.”

Yes, I’m sure you would have handled that differently, but you know it’s been five years since we moved out here and I’m over trying to show him how much more interesting it is to explore the outdoors rather than sit on the couch and watch Spongebob or play video games. He doesn’t care. That doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up though.

I’ve noticed over the past week that each time I drove on the lane, a killdeer would be frightened into flight. I knew what this meant and this weekend I went for a walk down the lane. Sure enough, an adult killdeer started running away just yards in front of me. When I would pause to look at the rocks, it would call out. Then it would fall down, its “broken wings” flashing orange. I could get within only a few feet of it before it would get up and run ahead of me again before falling down “wounded”.

This is how killdeer distract predators from its nest, pretending to be injured. I wanted to show Doodicus so we headed outside for a walk. I pointed out the bird and told him to try to catch it. While skeptical, because what nine year old child isn’t skeptical ALL the time, he walked towards it and sure enough it limped away. The bird led him all the way up the lane before it flew up and away and back to its nest.

I had found the nest earlier, so I brought my son over to the general vicinity of it and told him to find it for himself. I’m sure he thought I was playing a joke on him until I stepped him right up to it and pointed directly at the four, round specked eggs, perfectly camouflaged in the rocks.

As we walked back towards the house he said, “That was COOL!”

I hope I’ll have the chance to show him the babies after they hatch because they are seriously some of the cutest baby animals I’ve ever seen. Cottonballs on toothpicks is the best description I can give them. I’ll let you know in a month. This is the picture I took after I showed my son the nest: