Thursday, July 8, 2010
Update on killdeer chicks day 3. Also, 3 new chicks found!
Day three and I could only find two at a time each time I visited. They scatter, now, when I approach and hide behind rocks. They still freeze when I approach, which may be a problem, but at least they move out of the way when I initially walk up. And, they hide behind or near larger rocks, so, their chances of accidentally getting stepped on is lower.
In the morning, I found two on the shore and I thought I heard a third peeping in the bushes. I photographed the two which seem to be the biggest and the middle sized one.
Later, when I came back, they had moved into a brushy area and, again, I saw only two in the brush and maybe heard a third hiding in some nearby reeds. I think the two I saw were the biggest and the smallest.
The parents seem to be not as excited with me there, except when I start looking through the brush for their chicks. They also don't like me being on one stretch of land which is actually far, far away from where their chicks are at, but where I can still watch them. When I leave this area, they go out on the road and do broken wing acts. People don't really understand what's going on, though. Hopefully, they won't hurt anyone and I won't get blamed if they do.
When M2 was up on the road trying to distract me, he noticed the Cooper's hawk that was perching nearby. It's not unusual to see that hawk there and he was probably not watching the chicks, but M2 attacked him and chased him away.
Three new chicks discovered
I found three new chicks in an area where I rarely go, but I was only physically able to get a look at one chick. There were definitely two more as their peeping was really loud and distinct. I am unfamiliar with the parents. They were in a very brushy area that has a steep slope behind it. Except for coyotes in the area, they are very well protected from just about everything that could get them. I won't be attempting to observe them very often because by the time I find a way down to them, they have already scattered into the brush. It's very hard to observe them there because, even though I see the parents go into the brush to attend them, it's hard to actually see them. They appear to be a couple of days older than M1 and F3's chicks as the one I saw is almost double the size of theirs.
Next update is several days away during the weekend when people will be fishing on the shore and picking up trash there, too. I hope that their human evasion techniques will be better by then as they will be almost a week old and 25% grown. I am also hoping that no one hurts them or their parents because of the racket they raise or because they don't understand their behavior.
Hopefully, I will see all three together, but it's unlikely. And, hopefully, there will be happy updates to come.