The day started out normally. M2 was not in his territory, hopefully helping F3 with the nest over near the northern area of Mission Trails Park where "Little Male" was possibly born. M4 was doing well and got most of his voice back. But, things got strange after that.
I found a new "couple" of killdeer on one of the baseball fields and, boy, were they acting strange towards some squirrels. I will talk more about that in another post.
When I was going back to my car, I hear a killdeer doing his annoying yell and assumed it was Little Male complaining that I was walking by. But, then, I heard the strange call that I hear when males were fighting each other. I looked over and I saw one killdeer on the back of another, but couldn't get the photo as the one on the bottom was very nervous and walked to where he/she wouldn't be seen. The one on top did a bob-dip courtship dance, but I don't think it was answered.
At first, I thought I was seeing M2 fighting with Little Male and this was a way to enforce dominance on the other one. The one on top was way too calm to be little male and the other was way too nervous to be a female. But, after consulting my photos, I have found that they were actually Little Male and a very pretty female with a smooth breast band.
The female tried to keep me from getting a good look at her, but didn't totally hide. Little Male began kneeling down and flashing his red-tail at me in a more "friendly" distraction manner. I don't think he was trying to pick a fight, but trying to get me to leave her alone and pay attention to him.
I sat down and watched and Little Male pretty much walked right up to me, gave me a dirty look, and flew way over to his nesting area, actually overshooting it. I think he wanted me to follow and not his mate as he was way out of the area that he normally goes to. The female didn't follow, but neither did I. I was able to get a few good photos of her, alone, before I left.
While I was in M2's territory, I heard a killdeer call and though it was M2 hiding, but I think it was actually Little Male looking for his mate.
Hopefully, the female can hold off laying eggs for another five days until after the fourth of July. There's a high likelihood that any nest will be crushed by people wanting to see the fireworks if it's laid before then. I think F3 didn't lay her eggs for at least a week, so it will be OK if this female decides to lay her eggs in his territory.
Birdchick Podcast #234 Eagles and Puffins
1 week ago