I've been wanting to post these photos for a while, but they disappeared into the bin of unblogged bloggables. Now, however, we will learn about the making of ploverlets.
Faithful mother Killdeer sits tight, incubating the four eggs that will soon be transformed into precocial little balls of fuzz on sticks. This nest was in a high-traffic area, and the parents became quite used to gawkers.
Then comes the old broken wing act. Flashing its bright orange-buff rump - sure to grab attention - the bird staggers about, holding a wing askew and looking all the world like a badly injured creature on its last legs. Easy pickings for the coon, who then will theoretically set after our actor. Problem is, the Killdeer stumbles away, and away from the nest, at about the same pace it's approached. Once our bold protector feels the fool in question has been led an adequate distance away from the nest, an instanteous, magical healing transforms it, and off flies the bird.
Even people not wise to the wiles of Killdeer are regularly tricked by this act. I've gotten more than one call from folks wondering about the seemingly badly injured bird that they ran across. I felt like telling them that the bird is smarter than they are, but I haven't, yet.
Even if Killdeer are common, they are a treat.