Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
For more posts and photos, I also post on Hubpages, a site that is a bit different than others. Thanks!: Shorebirdie on Hubpages

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birds Playing Games

I have been hearing killdeer sounds coming from one of the ballfields for about a week, but never saw the birds. Well, yesterday, I was determined to find them and went all around there looking for them. There appeared to be two of them, a male and a female. The female was playing "I'm not nesting there, I'm nesting here" with me, a game usually played by males. I don't think I've seen her before, but she does look a little familiar.


The male has two very distinctive white feathers on his back. I definitely haven't seen him before. He also appears to have an injury around the cloaca, but that could be something related to mating.

Male with white patches on his back

But, what was really weird is that they seemed to be purposely teasing the squirrels in one area. They were doing a full-blown broken wing act around them, not the red-tail flashing that Little Male did with his mate yesterday. And, the squirrels were actually chasing them. But, the killdeer only ran away and not flew. I would never think a squirrel would attack a wounded bird, though I wouldn't put past them eating some eggs or chicks. It could be that the squirrel was annoyed.

"Teasing" the squirrels

I couldn't see what the squirrel was eating, but it didn't look like eggs or chicks. I walked carefully around there, even looked outside the fence area nearby and saw no eggs or chicks anywhere. The ballpark is heavily used this time of year and any nest laid inside the fenced area will be destroyed. So, I'm hoping they don't lay eggs there, but I think that they're planning to and have it set in their head that the nest is there. That could be why they were doing the broken wing act.

In another area, the ducklings that I have named the "Fish Food Ducklings" because they spent their earliest days surrounded by huge fish, possibly trying to eat them, were having their own issue. They're big now at 3 1/2 weeks old. There's a man who comes around and feeds the water birds and these ducklings try to share a spot with some American coots. But, coots are territorial and constantly chase and harass the ducklings and the mother duck. But, I think the baby coots think this is all a game. They're having fun chasing everyone around, ducklings or other birds.

Gonna get cooties!

You guys gotta leave or you're gonna get cooties

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