Mama shielding her eggs from the sun.

The last time I posted about the Killdeer nest at my co-worker Andrea’s sister’s house there were only two eggs and the Killdeer were very skittish around people.  This forced me to use my long lens, which, while it is an okay lens, is not quite as good as my macro lens is.

Now there are four eggs and the mother Killdeer has grown far more accustomed to people stopping for a look:

Would you get that camera out of my face?  I’m protecting my nest here!

Remember, this is a wild bird, and free.  I could get pretty close by crouching and moving slowly, but she only let me get this close because I literally crawled on my belly and whenever she seemed antsy I spoke to her in soft, soothing tones.

You can barely see a couple eggs if you look under her.

In fact, in the ten or so minutes I was there the only time she left her eggs was when a crow flew over the nest.  I assume she was acting as a decoy to protect her unhatched offspring.  And speaking of the eggs, I bet you might like a closer look:

That’s right, she has the standard four.

The sun was beating down and it was a pretty hot day so she did start to pant:

It really is tough when you lack sweat glands!

Once I noticed her panting I decided to leave her be, figuring heat had stressed her enough.  And the predicted hatching date?  June 28th…and you can bet I am hoping for some pictures of the chicks!

They hatched!

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.