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When you wander too close to an active Killdeer nest the attending parent will try to draw you away by noisily feigning a broken wing. This ploy works well against predators like cats or Coyotes, but is not as effective against large herbivores such as cattle.

It is also not a very effective tactic against humans with cameras. We discovered this Killdeer nest at our neighborhood swimming pool. As you will see in the pictures below, we never would have noticed the nest full of young Killdeer if it weren’t for the antics of the adult.

To avoid antagonizing the adult any more than necessary, we took just a few quick pictures and then gave the nest a wide berth for the rest of our visit. Things settled down quickly afterwards.

When you wander too close to an active Killdeer nest the attending parent will try to draw you away by noisily feigning a broken wing.  This ploy works well against predators like cats or Coyotes, but is not as effective against large herbivores such as cattle.

When you wander too close to an active Killdeer nest the attending parent will try to draw you away by noisily feigning a broken wing. This ploy works well against predators like cats or Coyotes, but is not as effective against large herbivores such as cattle.

A Killdeer trying to lead us away from its nest by feigning a broken wing.

A Killdeer trying to lead us away from its nest by feigning a broken wing.

This Killdeer is trying to protect its nest by making itself appear to be an easy target.    It does this by calling out in distress and fluttering its wings as if they are broken—all the while moving further and further away from its young.

This Killdeer is trying to protect its nest by making itself appear to be an easy target. It does this by calling out in distress and fluttering its wings as if they are broken—all the while moving further and further away from its young.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

A nest full of Killdeer chicks in Carrollton, Texas.

Killdeer build their nest on the ground and out in the open. Still, they can be very difficult to locate.

Killdeer build their nest on the ground and out in the open. Still, they can be very difficult to locate.

Now you can start to get some idea of just how well hidden the Killdeer nest was.

Now you can start to get some idea of just how well hidden the Killdeer nest was.

Can you see the nest as indicated by the red arrow?

Can you see the nest as indicated by the red arrow?

Observation Details

County Denton
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Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
City Carrollton
Date Jun 7, 2008
Time of Day Afternoon
Temperature Hot (greater than 89°F/32°C)
Weather Clear
Habitat Recreation-Park
Type of Behavior Care of Young
Gender Mixed
Maturity Adult, Juvenile
Observer Chris Jackson
Main Article Killdeer Observation Location

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