Well, technically speaking nesting season has been going on for a while…. But lately we’ve been lucky enough to be spending a ton of time in the field and have stumbled upon several nests out on the wetlands.
This is yet another thing I got super excited about because, up until recently, I had only seen one or two bird eggs out in the field, and it was usually just a robin or sparrow or some other abundant songbird that had a nest in a nearby tree. So when we were out working near pond 117 and Anjelica yelled “Stop the car! I think there’s a Killdeer nest!” you can only imagine my enthusiasm in hitting the breaks and bringing the Explorer to a screeching halt.
As I went to throw the car door open and run into the road to find the nest, I came to my senses and paused with one leg out of the car: Killdeer eggs are camouflaged. And they prefer rocky habitat. With flat, dry ground. And I was about to get out and RUN IN THE MIDDLE OF A KILLDEER INFESTED DIRT ROAD. I pulled myself together and realized that if I wanted to see a Killdeer nest I would have to be especially careful to not step on it! I walked carefully around the car and saw that luckily, Anjelica had already spotted the nest and was keeping a safe distance away so that we did not disturb it. Just a couple yards away two future Killdeer parents were not happy with us being so close to their eggs, and were piping their familiar “killdeeeeer” cry at us over and over again to make sure we knew it. I was able to snap a few quick photos before I apologized to the happy couple and got back in the car.
It was fun to see not only the nest and how well the eggs camouflaged with their surroundings, but the reaction of the Killdeer in trying to draw a potential predator away from their future offspring. Seeing nature in action is always fascinating!
As the week went on we were able to come across several more occupied nests and marvel at the imperfectly shaped and speckled occupants inside. I love being outdoors and seeing the seasonal changes that it has to offer – how many people can say they welcomed the next generation of birds to the Blanca Wetlands?