A Killdeer Nest

I went down to the Port Waterfront area to find and photograph some trilliums in the woods near the Port. I did not find them but came across a killdeer along the Railroad tracks on the way back. As soon as I saw the bird I looked down and saw the four eggs in the nest.  I pulled out my camera a took a picture standing over the nest.

The killdeer walked towards me and when only  a few feet away began its wounded bird routine

Instead of the broken wing routine, it spread it’s wings and tail feathers.  It’s a behavior they use to draw predators away from their nest.  When  a predator leaves the nest area and approaches the bird, it suddenly flies away.

When I walked away from the nest and was about 10 feet or so away,  it calmly sat  back on its nest as if nothing was wrong.  Male and female killdeers look alike, take turns incubating the eggs, and the incubation takes about 4 weeks. The chicks are precocious, born with their eyes open, and can feed themselves within a few hours after hatching.  The parents stay with the chicks for about one month until they are fledged and  can take care of themselves.  There are many nests now along the tracks, around the port area, and  the marina too.  Its best to try not to disturb them during the nesting season. If you get near the nest they usually get up and walk quickly away. The eggs are very hard to see as they are well camouflaged.

~contributed by Paul Snoey

About Paul Snoey

I have a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from WSU Vancouver
I am very fond of Gee Creek and Allen Canyon Creek and do a lot of volunteer work to restore these creeks.

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