[Tweeters] Tolerant Nesting Killdeer

mary hrudkaj mch1096 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 12 11:03:59 PST 2016

I have found, in another lifetime back in Wisconsin, nesting killdeer can be quite tolerant of human presence if it is there long enough during the day and obliging enough to leave the killdeer and nest alone. One year during EVOC (emergency vehicle operation course) training at a local community college we found a killdeer nest about 2 feet from the edge of the paved course (surrounded by gravel). The nest site was marked with an orange cone and the instructor told us if we hit the cone, bird or nest we would flunk the course. The nest, cone and adults all fared very well that day. We had three old police cars driving at speed along the course and everyone passed. Another time when working my part-time job at a state park in Wisconsin we found a killdeer nest near where we were clearing out garlic mustard ( a nefarious plant that has found its way out west now). Ignoring the nest and adults we went about or 3 hours of work. Again, all fared well.

One year at the park a killdeer nested in the gravel just inches from the paved roadway going to one of the more used parking lots. Even four inches of wet snow could not move Mrs. Killdeer from her post. All the young survived and I got some great photos (sorry they were all left at the park) of the youngsters climbing into Mom's feathered breast when she called them in for safety during one of their forays alongside another road in the park. Seeing four pairs of tiny legs and feet sticking out of those feathers will always stay in my memory.

I think once the nesting killdeer get used to the continued presence of workers, etc., they will go on doing their nesting thing. If, in Jeff's case, the work can be postponed all the better.

Mary Hrudkaj


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