Parental Instincts

The parental instincts of wildlife are nothing short of miraculous – And, often, a sign that God Almighty has a sense of humor. If you’ve ever taken the time to marvel at a killdeer, and pester him a bit, you should be familiar with the miracle, and the humor. Killdeer are ground nesters, and mama and papa stick pretty close to their eggs to guard it, sit on it, and to steer predators away.
IMG_9500They are birds roughly the size of a robin,  not gifted in areas of strength or intimidation. But they are very talented actors. When a threat is near their nest, mama and papa tag-team to draw the predator away, by keening and taunting, staying just close enough to the predator to keep the attention of the predator, and always moving further away from the nest. But if the threat gets too close or approaches the nest, the little birds launch themselves into a charade of dying birds, flopping around on the ground rather realistically. KilldeerI had been informed of a killdeer nest near the shore of Canyon Lake and went to find it after work today. Sure enough, mama and papa successfully drew me away from the nest the first time, and put on a pretty convincing dying-bird act when I actually approached the nest. As quickly as possible, I snapped a few pictures,  staying a healthy distance from the nest and trying not to look too vicious – I would have felt pretty bad if one of the parents had a heart attack or something. Not to mention, if I had gotten any closer I’m not at all sure that one or both of the parents wouldn’t have flown at my head. Parental instincts, and all. And what beautiful treasures they had to protect! IMG_9508God’s creatures never cease to amaze me.

Laura Elizabeth

3 thoughts on “Parental Instincts

  1. Pingback: Killdeer Chicks | Homestead Diaries

  2. Hi Laura,

    Do you create websites? Our church is interested in doing a new one and Word Press seems like a good choice. We would like to have one where we can upload our updates ourselves.

    What does it entail to “maintain a website?” Is it necessary to hire someone to do this after they build the website?


    Peggy Sanders 605-424-2795


  3. We had a killdeer nest just 10 ft. from our house, on a gravelly spot. The dog and cats wouldn’t go near it so the parents must have put some fear into them. I was amazed they would set up so close to our home, given that they had hundreds of acres from which to choose. It was a blessing to watch the process.


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