Thursday, June 19, 2014

A whole bunch of cute...

Our little office Killdeer chicks (from this post) hatched Monday—our first successful brood! Larry spotted the babies running in and out of the rocks and up and down the grassy banks in the early afternoon. I went home to get the camera, and by the time I returned a mowing crew had descended. Drama for the chicks! Within a few hours of hatching out of the safety of their eggs, a mighty iron beast was chasing them around Seapine's north green. What an introduction to the world!

Clover blossoms tower over the tiny Seapine Killdeer Chick #1.
I flagged down the lawnmower man, and pointed out the chicks to him. He promised to keep the lawnmower crew away from their nesting grounds. These fluffy little chicks will spend a good portion of their lives watching for and escaping from predators, they didn't need to spend their first few hours scurrying away from a lawnmower. Three of the four eggs in the nest hatched, and all three chicks are still doing well. I watched them running around outside my office this afternoon. Adorable!

Seapine Killdeer Chick #2

Seapine Killdeer Chick #3


Precocial chicks are up and running within hours of hatching. These chicks are just a few hours old.

After hatching out of their shells and waiting for their feathers to dry, precocial Killdeer chicks are ready to run around. They quickly start pecking at the ground, learning to look for insects and other food. Even though they can run around, they can't fly yet and are not completely self-sufficient. They still need their parents for protection. If you get too close, the parents will call out a warning, and the chicks will freeze and hunker down. When the parents feel all is well, they give the all clear with another call. I was seated on the ground fairly far away (these photos are heavily cropped), so the parents didn't perceive me as a threat, and I didn't get to see the behavior.

...balls of fluff with legs.




Killdeer couples can have 1-3 broods a season, so since their first brood was successful, there is a chance they will nest here again after this brood. Killdeer chicks will stay with their parents for about a month, then they fledge and move on. If we're lucky, we will get another go around with these cute birds!

Go Seapine wildlife!

16 comments:

Elva Paulson said...

Your killdeer chicks are the sweetest! I love the little guys.

holdingmoments said...

What a beautiful selection Kelly.
Lovely little balls of fluff.

Glad you intervened with the mower man. Let's hope they all survive and go on to live their lives as peacefully as they can.

Sue said...

How adorable!! Glad they didn't get "munched" by the mower!
They're very very cute--I've never seen the young before. Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

These are so adorable! I've never been lucky enough to find any chicks. I bet they are fun to watch.

Janice K said...

Those babies are so cute! Such perfect little copies of their parents...and they actually start pecking for food right away instead of waiting for their parent to drop something in their mouths.

Love your blog--I always learn something. Thanks!!

Kathie Brown said...

Kelly, These pictures are SO AMAZING! Those BABIES ARE SO ADORABLE! How lucky you are to have them right outside your office window! Are you going to do a painting of them?

Frank said...

Kelly. That's good news and a nice distraction from working. Lovely images of the chicks.

Lawnmower man needs to take a course in 'wildlife' conservation!

TexWisGirl said...

they are adorable. :) i saw one at the grounds of the high school this past week, too. they look like striped cotton balls on tooth picks. :)

Laure Ferlita said...

Awwwww!! I want to hug them, and pet them and call them George!! So sweet. Lucky you getting to watch.

Elaine said...

Kelly, these are wonderful! You painted a compelling picture of the drama of that nasty iron beast and the poor little chicks running for their lives. Fortunately Mighty Kelly came to the rescue and chased off the awful villain! Mama and Papa Killdeer will surely show their appreciation by hatching another brood for you.

Banjo52 said...

Just hours old, they "know" important thinga: "the parents will call out a warning, and the chicks will freeze and hunker down." Nature and science sure have plenty of mystery, if you ask me. Way to go, saving them from the mower!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Fun!

We have a killdeer nest in the yard, but I'm afraid they will hatch while I'm on the road.

The Equestrian Vagabond said...

SO CUTE! I got to see a few chicks shortly after they hatched. They are amazing to watch!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Bob Bushell said...

Oh yes Kelly, the Killdeer and their chicks are superb, cheers.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! The babies are still running around...all three! They are doing well and are already starting to grow. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they make it to adulthood.

Tammie Lee said...

so cute, oh my gosh!