It’s For the Birds
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By Sandra Ebeling
Such a beautiful time of the year, and also busy for all the farmers,busy getting the crops out of the fields. We are dry right now, and that makes for a lot of dust.
Some trees are turning, and many have lost some leaves. About the only birds that I am seeing right now are native birds and those ever present Starlings and sparrows.
You may still see Killdeer along the waters edge and the edge of the roads occasionally.
Ground nesting Killdeer are Snow White below and rich brown above. They have two black rings around their necks and a third black streak over the foreheads. They do not build a true nest. Instead, they scrape away a comfortable place for their three to five tan speckled eggs, which look like stones.
A nest would a ruin the eggs effective camouflage. Unlike most songbirds, killdeer young hatch wearing down feathers, which they quickly exchange for feathers resembling that of the adults.
Within hours after hatching, they follow their parents away from their birthplace to begin learning how to forage for insects. They like patches of tall grass and a shallow edge water source.
Killdeer fly south in the fall to avoid cold temp arrives. In climates where the ground does not stay frozen through winter, they can find food year around.
Although they often run along the found like their shorebird relatives, killdeer are excellent fliers and may reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour in the air.
They eat some seeds and berries, but their insatiable consumers of grasshoppers and other insects. Although killdeer are rarely seen at the feeder, the often nest in open areas in parks, playgrounds, and ball fields.
Surprisingly tolerant of human activity, killdeer pairs often return to suburban sights where they successfully raised young in the past. They are very loud and protective of their young.
The run along calling and acting like they have a broken wing to lure attention away from the nest. They are fun to watch and have around.
They are prime examples of a good parent. Very protect, and on the other hand their nests are sometimes destroyed by vehicles and equipment especially when built in a drive way or gravel road.
I hope you are enjoying the fall and staying healthy.
Until next time, good bird watching.