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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

I went out to Albert Head Lagoon to do some birdwatching on Canada Day and spent a couple of hours watching a group of Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). I think it was some parents and fledgelings. Above is a mature adult. Killdeer are a species of Plover and generally only visit this far north in the summer. Wise birds that they are, they spend the winter in Central and South America. This is one of the first birds I remember learning to recognize and name and I think it is because of their distinctive behaviour when disturbed during nesting season. If one approaches their nest too closely the adult bird will leave the nest and act as if wounded, faking a broken wing and hobbling and flopping about while uttering pitiful cries. As a child I remember being very impressed with this cunning strategy to distract possible predators - it made me realize that animals too have emotions and intelligence.
Happy Fourth of July to JoJo and all of our other friends south of the border!


William Kendall said...

Beautiful shot!

I remember a couple of times growing up, seeing a killdeer do exactly that. I'd heard about the reason, and it's a good strategy on their part.

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous shot!