Photo Spot: The Killdeer’s Natural Camouflage

Can you spot what is in this picture? It, or they (that’s a hint) are so well hidden, it might take a thrice to find them (that’s another hint):

While walking to my car one sunny day I was engaged by a slender and lanky bird pretending to have a broken wing and running, slowly, away from me. I’ve seen this behavior before and so knew to look for a nest with eggs.

Stock Photo

Killdeer are well known for this ‘broken wing’ ruse to lure predators away from their nests. These nests can be on open ground with low vegetation (or no vegetation at all), including lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. Gravel certainly does camouflage the eggs, as seen in my picture above.

This species is one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds. The parking lot where I encountered my little friend was miles from any body of water. After taking my picture, I ‘fell for’ the ruse and left the area!

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