[Tweeters] Re: Killdeer Fluffballs

Carol Riddell cariddell at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 7 07:53:12 PDT 2008

John's photos are great. Thanks for sharing the link. And Dennis, I
left out
a few important facts. The adult had pearls on her necklace and was
a smart Coach handbag. :-)

Carol Riddell

Hi Everyone,

Last year about this time I was fortunate to run across a Killdeer
pair with
two chicks which were still too young to regulate their own
temperature and so
would forage for a few minutes and then run back to one of the adults
to be
brooded. For those interested in images you can go to the following
link -
photoID=3694288&cat=38978 -
and click NEXT several times to see the series of images (I believe
there are
four). I considered this encounter one of the most fortuitous photo ops
involving birds that I've ever had.

John Tubbs
Snoqualmie, WA
johntubbs AT comcast.net

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Dennis Paulson
I enjoyed Carol Riddell's description of the Killdeer chicks that she
saw, but
in the interest of reducing sexism in our society, I want to point
out that in
many shorebirds, Killdeers included, males play am equal or even
larger part in
parental care than females. This is especially true in monogamous
species such
as Killdeers in which the females have used a lot of energy to lay
those four
huge eggs, so it makes sense for the male to put in more than his share
thereafter. The pair works together to raise the young (incubating
the eggs,
brooding the young at first and then shepherding them around and
warning them
of predators, but not, in most shorebirds, feeding them), but the
male takes an
equal part in all of these, sometimes a greater than equal part. So
there was a
50:50 chance that was Dad you saw, Carol.

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