Hi, folks. I've been visiting Dave's garden for years and just joined yesterday. Well, I'm so excited that the killdeer that are nesting in the stones that surround my pool hatched 3 chicks yesterday that I had to share. We have been calling the parents Ricky & Lucy because they are so excitable and always running around and yelling, so this baby is Little Ricky. I've been doing some research and understand that it is really tough to get good pix of killdeer, so please excuse the fuzziness. I couldn't get too close. In fact, when I went out to clean the pool later in the day, they moved the new family out of the pool enclosure, so these are probably the only shots I'll get.
I'm new and have something to share
Way to go! I never seem to get good shots of anything. Not for lack of trying though but I'm no Magpye with a camera. I love your shot of baby 'Ricky".
Stones around your pool! Godd for you. Stones are wonderful things aren't they. So many opportunities for critters when one has stones piled up or arranged somewhere on their property.
Thanks, Equilibrium. I have other places in my yard that are much more 'habitat' like, for birds anyway. I live in a new development, so we don't have a lot of furry creatures. I'm working on hummingbird/butterfly (see pic from last spring) and hope to have a purple martin house up by next year. Also have a robin's nest with 4 eggs in a juniper this year...we've hardly seen robins up til now. We're on a small manmade lake so we get great blue heron, Canada geese and we just got a new family of 10 mallard ducklings.
Hey there! A clean slate to work with! Now I am jealous. I can't help myself but... isn't Tonawanda where the snow doesn't melt until June ;) I was in that town once and I swear I saw the largest snowman I have ever seen in my entire life. I have no idea how they were able to roll the snow or stack smaller balls on top. I have never seen anything like that snowman. We're talking StaPuff marshmallow sized from Ghost Busters... slight exaggeration but the snowman was taller than the roof of the ranch house.
I had no idea what a killdeer was until this post compelled me to do a little google search on killdeers. They are fascinating. Apparently killdeers are known to distract predators' attention to nests by dragging their feet and wings to give the impression that they are injured and vulnerable. As soon as the predator heads toward what appears to be a easy target, the killdeer flies off. Thank you for introducing me to killdeers.
This thread brought back memories. When I was a child, I lived down the street from a large high school. Around the track area, there were quite a few kildeer nests; I loved walking around there and hearing their cries as they flew around. The mothers were very comical as they faked injury to draw me away when I got close to a nest.
Here's an excellent page with info about these cool little birds: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Charadrius_vociferus.html
I wasn't familiar with killdeer until we moved here. I've always lived in western NY, but always in the city. Now I'm somewhere between suburban and rural. My daughter-in-law introduced me to the birds. They really are very pretty...striking markings. And the beautiful orange shows when they are in flight or doing their 'broken wing' thing to draw you away from their nest'. They are extremely vocal, although I don't think their cry sounds anything like the 'kill-dee' that i read about. The family left my pool enclosure when I went out to clean the pool and those little chicks can really move fast. I saw them again today, though, and they seem to be doing well.
Equil, the giant snowman sounds like an urban legend ;-), but if you say you saw it, I believe you. We had a very mild winter this year and very little snow. In fact, I planted a heather garden last spring, and lost some of the plants because there wasn't enough snow cover. Of course, we only make the news when we have a storm with 3 feet.
Who knows...They could have built an armature of framing and chicken wire and packed snow onto it.
He he he, I took a photo of it on 35 mm film. I swear it was taller than the roof and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how they got the middle snowballl up on top of the base snowball let alone how they got the head snowball up on top of that. This snow man was 3x the size of any we have ever made and had to have been at least 12' tall. They had had an intense snow storm. The drive from the airport was hideous. I'm from the north and I've seen snow but I must admit what I saw lent new definition to the term lake effect snow. The next morning when I woke up, the whole house was dark. The snow had drifted up to darn near the roof line. I have never seen anything like it before and they claimed it happened quite frequently. Around here we get drifts and sometimes they drift up about 4-5' in some areas but we've never had them completely cover up windows on one entire side of a house. Pretty bizarre and they took it with a grain of salt and went outside and started shoveling so they could get out their back door.
I never thought of the chicken wire. Interesting thought.
Equil, I don't know what year you were here, but from what you said there was plenty of snow and I don't think you could pack snow onto chicken wire. No big deal...if you don't know what else to do with the snow, you make a giant snowman. But honestly, it isn't always like that. Although my niece was here from N. Carolina for Xmas one year, her first white Xmas. She was a teenager and the snow was so deep we couldn't see the street from the windows because of the piles the plows had pushed up.
I was there in the mid 80's sometime? I remember some of the cars had snow chains on them. I thought that was odd because they had outlawed those by us because they were tearing up the roads.
What do you guys do with all that snow? Do you have trucks haul it off when the snow plows can't pile it any higher? Seriously, you guys get a lot more snow than we do and it often seems as if one snow plow moves it to one area for another to come by and move it further back than that. The snow trucks around here plow in twos. One travels ahead of the other and plows it over about 10' and then the second truck plows that over another 10'. So far we haven't had snow that was blocking our view of the street.
That's how they plow the snow down here too. 10 ft on one side and 10 ft to the other side.
They plow in tandem here, too. And tire chains have long since been outlawed. When we get that much snow they do load it on trucks and haul it out of the city because there's no place to push it. I grew up on a narrow little one-way street in Buffalo and it could take you a week to dig out a car. But that's only with MAJOR storms, not every winter. I think you just picked the wrong year to pass thru here.
A week to dig out a car? Hmmm, sounds kind of nice to me! Instead of a snow day you get a snow week! No work!
If you don't think a week of shoveling thru 6-8' drifts of snow trying to find your car is work, I'll call you next time and you can come shovel me out :-)
You have an extremely valid point there. I take the good natured and neighborly farmers who live around here for granted. They have BIG tractors and when we're in a pinch, they come and dig us out. God bless our farmers!
Better snow than ice!!! You can drive and walk on snow. You can't on ice. most of the time. If I try I land flat on my butt and have everyone laughing at me. Course then I get payback and drag them down with me. Works everytime.
There are things that are worse than a butt fall. The good old spread eagle bambi splat comes to mind. I've had my fair share of both.
Thanks for sharing. We're still getting glimpses of the babies. They are about the size of a sparrow now. Just saw one running across the yard with one of the parents chasing it. Mom/Dad caught up and herded the little one back. They are so fast! No new pics, but here's one of their nest before they hatched. I put up the little 'fence' so my pool guys wouldn't step on the eggs. It'll be another 2 weeks or so until they fledge.
It was taken with Kodachrome II slide film. I have a slide scanner and converted it to a digital slide and keep it in my computer. The Kodachromes still look as good today as they did when new. Other brands that I tried have long faded to purple.
Some people use a slide projector and take pictures of the projected images. This can work pretty well also.
Most any photo that pre-dates the 'digital age' .. can be scanned and uploaded to the web, Equil. A slide (jes as Trois had posted) .. jes takes another step and/or the use of an optional part. (unless your scanner comes equiped). ((huggs, Equil))
.. grampapa ..
The 'killdee' have always been a most fascinating bird. Been unable to spot the eggs in a nest in real life, nor see a good photo either .. 'till yours! Quite a clutch, 'ey! What better entertainment to have and see first hand, when cooling off ..
trois, I know they are shorebirds, but have never seen them swim, even though we are on a small lake. how funny. the little ones just look like they are running on stilts. that's a good shot.
magpye, it's been quite a little show. I know there have been nests around, but I never could find them before. we were the first house in this part of the development, so there was a lot of open 'dirt' for them to nest in. this one was so close to the house and the pool and the parents made such a show of trying to draw me away, I finally tracked it down.
I used to have to go on school roofs to install antennas for summer classes. Almost every flat roof had at least one nest of kildeer. Safe from most predators up there. The parents have to bring water and everything else to them. I don't know how long they stay up there after they hatch.
They certainly do look like they are running on stilts. That is the only one I have ever seen swim.
Okay, I want to know how many of us saw that picture of the kildeer chick and went "aaawwwwwww......" I sure did.
Thanks to your thread, I looked up my old series of Kildeer pictures and posted them in the Wildlife forum. Thanks for bringing this subject up as they are one of my most favorite birds.