I visited Lake Murray while it was still pretty dark, so my photos didn't come out exactly as I planned. But, it seems that the killdeer have dispersed back to their own territories.
M2 was all alone. I took a couple of photos of him using flash and I think I dazed him. But, he seemed fine after a moment and continued eating the flies along the shore. The flash made his eye turn white.
Little Male is doing OK, but still a little high strung. I don't think he knows how to use his signals correctly and gets them mixed up.
M4 is fine, he has part of his voice back, but still pretty raspy.
The last I saw these three ducklings, they were just about to be fish food. But, they're two weeks old now and getting big.
I found this male in M8's territory. I've never seen him before. Like M4, he has a lot of pale and/or white feathers on one side of his body. I'm still taking this to possibly mean that he might be an older killdeer, but it could just be a variation in killdeer feather colors. Sorry the photo is fuzzy, he didn't give me many chances to get a good one.
I swore I heard a killdeer in this area, but thought my ears were playing tricks on me. This time, I checked and there he was. I also thought I heard the sounds of killdeer chicks squeaking and scrumbling under some nearby brush, but I didn't search them out. This male didn't do a broken wing act or anything else that would indicate that there was a nest or chicks are nearby, so it might have been a mouse or squirrel making that noise. That kind of response is probably automatic with killdeer and I don't know if they can totally control it. However, this killdeer may have been so habituated to people that he had learned that just flying away was enough to get humans to leave the area.
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