Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dances With Killdeer

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) using a distraction display.
Not a bad Tuesday morning. I took a few hours this morning to bird at my favorite spot along the Republican River and to try a new spot just North and it paid off.

The first big accomplishment of the day was observing my 125th species in Clay County, KS. I had been chasing this one for a while now and was super excited to finally hit the mark. My 125th species is a Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis).

The second, and probably my favorite, thing was witnessing a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) performing a distraction display. I had witnessed other birds pretending to be hurt to try and draw you away from their nest, but since the Killdeer is one of my favorite birds anyway it made it so much more special to witness from this species.

I did not find the nest that this displaying bird was trying to pull my attention from, but I did later find another nest near where I had parked my car. The Killdeer sitting on this nest flushed as I approached my car, sparking my interest.

The second bird didn't perform a distraction display, sadly, but in the "nest" were three eggs. I put quotes around nest because these birds don't construct a nest the same way that a song bird does. Instead, the Killdeer nest was basically a small platform of sticks directly on the ground. The eggs are very nicely camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding rocks.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) nest.

Both of the areas that I walked this morning were very productive, and I have come one step closer to documenting every Clay County species. There are more pictures attached in the checklists below.

eBird Checklists: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46959621


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