Killdeer, Killdeer! They’re Here, They’re Here!

What a wonderful sight! Several bird species have chosen our Valley Natural Foods outdoor patio and garden classroom area for a bird sanctuary. It’s also the location for a city wetland project (south side of the building) where baby ducks will soon receive their first swimming lesson. It happens every year, right on schedule. However, it’s the parking lot due west of that area where really cool bird business was recently witnessed.

Yes the parking lot! We learned that landscaped, rocky areas are a favorite place for those funny little killdeer birds to hide their eggs, in plain sight. Last week, Valley Natural Foods staff noticed speckled eggs nestled right out in the open over a bed of rocks above the curbside! If anyone got near, mother killdeer exercised a tactic by distracting possible predators away from her nest using a high-pitched sound of distress; “kill dee, kill dee!” the bird call it was named for. This was accompanied by an impressive “broken-wing” display. When we followed her lead by turning away from the eggs and moving toward her, sure enough, she got up and lead us further away spreading herself right back down to display this incredible “act” of injury once again. So that’s how those exposed eggs go undisturbed during incubation time!

This week, we discovered tiny killdeer babies scuttling about, following adult killdeer behind the co-op in the west parking area. These adorable, fuzzy little “puff balls on stilts” are quite hardy because they hatch with their eyes wide open, and they’re ready to run after pausing a couple of hours to dry off. We’ve been fortunate to catch some of the action with a telephoto camera lens and enjoy sharing them with you, our readers! Click here to learn more about this fascinating, intelligent bird.

You can enjoy all this bird fun too by simply hanging out at our outdoor patio. You are very welcome to walk through our garden classroom, even taking a moment if so inclined, to sit down on our large landscaping rocks with your lunch or a cup of coffee, to take in the sights and sounds of our little  bird sanctuary. You may even want to bring your camera because you might discover you have your own bird-watching story to share. And we would love to hear from you if you do! Please write us at info@valleynaturalfoods.com.

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