The Travels of Tug 44


The Killdeer is a little birdie, about robin sized, often seen running down the streets on their extra-long legs, by hay fields in the Fort Edward grasslands.   high-res

This close-up portrait shows the Killdeer's conspicuous stripes and the red ring around the eye. And yet when they are a short distance away, they camouflage right into the hay fields and vanish. Killdeer are famous for using the "broken wing" technique to lure predators away from their ground nest.   high-res

Killdeer are migratory and arrive in Fort Edward in early spring when there is still snow in the fields. This one is hunting bugs near the icy water of a melt puddle. They also eat seeds and whatever else they can find.   high-res

This pair was browsing among the ice and snow, never more than about 20 feet from each other, they are quite sociable.   high-res

This Killdeer Mom is sitting on a little dirt pile, carefully watching her chicks foraging around. And she did a bit of preening and some wing stretching as she showed off her lovely colors.   high-res

Baby Killdeer! They are so cute at this age ... they leave the nest a day or two after they hatch. They feed themselves but still need Mom watching and protecting them. She brings them to good locations where food can be found and shows them how to forage.   high-res

This baby Killdeer has no hope of flying but tries anyway. Her tail feathers are just a bunch of strings, and her wing feathers are just the quill stems at this age.   high-res

... so baby Killdeer flaps furiously and actually lifts off a bit and flies ... well ok, so she only traveled about 2 inches but she got off the ground, just like Mom does. :)   high-res

The Killdeer, one of Nature's camouflage specialists.

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