I've been watching Molly, the world famous barn owl, on Ustream ever since about a week before the famous Max owlet was born. In the background sounds, I could hear the killdeer and they sounded pretty annoying, constantly calling all day for hours and hours. Then, I remembered an experience I had when I saw the cutest little fluff balls run out in front of me on the beach at Imperial Beach over twenty five years ago. They were just about the cutest things I've ever laid my eyes on. Mom seemed panicked, though and acted like she had a broken wing. I didn't mean to almost step on them, I didn't see them when I went to go swim in the water. I found out later that they were killdeer.
I began to browse around and found other people's photos and videos of their own experiences with these birds and their incredible cute killdeer chicks and I became more and more attached. Recently, I have gotten myself a stuffed killdeer bird with the social call recording on it so that I can hear their sound any time I want. You see, I live in an apartment in a very busy part of San Diego, not really killdeer friendly.
Just very recently, I got a pair of binoculars so that I could view their natural behavior without bothering them. Killdeer, when they're not on the nest, don't like people getting too close or following them around. They are very nervous and shy. If you are patient and sit quietly, they may come back your way and check you out, but not at as close a range as other birds I encounter. They are not known to be naturally curious and their only concern about you is whether you are going to eat them or not.
When they are on a nest or with chicks, they will allow you to get much closer to them, and, of course, the newly hatched chicks can't run very fast at first. That is usually why you see a lot of photos of frozen-still chicks, eggs, and birds doing the broken-wing act of which these birds are famous for.
I don't have a zoom lens, yet, so I still have to get closer to the birds than they are comfortable to even get a half-visible photo of them. I plan to get some equipment very soon, but funds are short right now.
So, for future posts in this blog, there may be better pictures to go with my personal stories.
I would like to suggest, however, that if I start blogging about killdeer nests or chicks and someone recognizes the where exact location of the nest via my photos (I will give a general location, but try not to be exact), please try to keep it to yourself. If you must see this nest, be respectful of the birds, visit quickly, take your photo, and back off. I worry about these birds' chicks all the time.