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Killdeer birds

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  • Killdeer birds

    I've never considered myself much of a bird person, especially in the barn, with the exception of barn swallows who keep the insect population down around the barn. I strongly dislike the barn sparrows, consider them the mice of the bird world because of the messes they make.

    I have killdeer birds that LOVE to make their nests in my outdoor ring. Many moons ago they caused me to become 'separated' from my horse when there were 3 nests and I was trying very hard to miss them. I even decided I'd go back in the indoor and finish my ride. The horse I had at the time was certain that there were goblins in the rings so I had learned that if I walked him around the ring twice in each direction, we could usually have a spook-proof ride. Well, I had done that when I started in the outdoor but never gave it a thought when I went back indoors. Well, we were fine trotting along nicely in one direction so I came across the diagonal to change the rein and when we got to E going the other way, he went to X and I stayed at E.

    Anyway as I say, that was moons ago and I've long since forgiven the momma killdeers.

    So fast foreward to this year. I have one momma that hatched her 3 children about a wk + ago in the outdoor ring. Usually, if I'm lucky, I might see mom and the kids one or 2 days but they've stuck around and I see them all day running between my sacrifice paddocks, across the gravel parking lot to the outdoor ring. I must say I'm getting pretty attached to them too. One of the youngsters must be a male because it's as independent as all get out. His mom chases him and tries to keep him near the other 2 to no avail. I know I'm going to hate it when I no longer see them so I'm enjoying them now.

    Anyone else get attached to their killdeer?
    Sue

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

  • #2
    I've always liked them because the mothers will take on a full sized truck to try and protect or lure away from their nest. I try very hard to not stomp on their eggs!
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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    • #3
      Kildeer babies have to be the absolute cutest bird babies in the world......nothing but a ball of fluff on stilts.
      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

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      • #4
        We usually have some in our ring also....the horses also use this as part of
        their pasture. I put cones by the nest to deter the horses from stepping on them.

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        • #5
          I honestly don't know how those birds as a species haven't managed to become extinct!

          They nest on the ground in dirt/gravel, for cryin' out loud!
          Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by msj View Post
            Anyone else get attached to their killdeer?
            My horse!

            There were a few which hatched at our former boarding facility, and he somehow adopted one of the babies. When it was little I'd find him nose down, breathing on it and keeping it warm on chilly mornings. Once it was hot summer, every time I gave him a bath it would come splash in the little puddle between his front hooves. Once it was big enough, it would spend a lot of the day up on his back helping take care of bugs which were bothering him and leaving me white presents to clean off him.
            If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
            -meupatdoes

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            • #7
              Even though my mother is a big birder, and I've lived all over the USA, I'd never seen kildeer till last barn, just over in methingham county. This birds were so cute. The parents pretended to be injured to keep me away from their nests.

              Unfortunately the birds nest on the ground, and like the quail, end up with a lot of their young eaten by coon and bobcats and dogs and cats. And of course, by the omnipresent coyotes.

              Present barn is 2 miles down the road, with no kildeer. We do have the buff backs though, like at previous barn.

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              • #8
                Even with all the coyotes around and me having JRTs the killdeer seem to thrive. I have always found it funny (though I realize they must be very stressed) when the mother birds act like they have a broken wing to lure you away and then TWO broken wings if you keep moving towards the nest.

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                • #9
                  This year's Prize for Worst-Placed Nest goes to the Mama Kildeer who chose underneath my trailer.

                  Every.Single.Night. when I go to do nightcheck at the barn, taking me past the trailer, I am treated to her brokenwing theatrics complete with pitiful "Take ME!!!" cries.

                  Hey, OP!
                  I LOFF my barnswallows - they eat their weight+ in mosquitos & amuse me dive-bombing the barncat.
                  Is there anything cuter than baby swallow Flight School?
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                  • #10
                    I have a lot of killdeer this year, never have before. I like them, very pretty birds. I actually became aware of it when a tiny chick ran across my feet! He was SO absolutely cute. I left him alone and then began to notice all the adults here and there in my pasture.
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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                      This year's Prize for Worst-Placed Nest goes to the Mama Kildeer who chose underneath my trailer.

                      Every.Single.Night. when I go to do nightcheck at the barn, taking me past the trailer, I am treated to her brokenwing theatrics complete with pitiful "Take ME!!!" cries.

                      Hey, OP!
                      I LOFF my barnswallows - they eat their weight+ in mosquitos & amuse me dive-bombing the barncat.
                      Is there anything cuter than baby swallow Flight School?
                      I also LOFF my barn swallows and they are very busy building this yrs nest. Actually I think they might have finished and I'm really hoping nothing gets the babies this yr. I also adore watching them with flight school.

                      PS. No one said that momma killdeers are terribly smart with the placement of their nests.
                      Sue

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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                      • #12
                        Two years ago I came within 3 inches of finish mowing one of their nests in our jump field. Last year I think they nested a bit closer to the house, since they and the chicks were in our face all summer, right by the barn. I got some amusing video of the chicks; mom and dad doing their elaborate wounded bird distraction. This year they decided to nest in the active paddock..may have been a major error. Haven't seen them lately, they may have decided to nest somewhere a little less stomping. These birds are related to the Piping Plovers that our US Government has spent gazillions saving along the shoreline: 3/4 ton trucks driving out daily to check on their nests; I got to watch that scenario play out all one summer. The plovers nested somewhere below the high tide line, so those nests all went south the first big high tide. As you say, it is a wonder that these birds survive at all.

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