Saturday, July 21, 2007

On the Road in Texas - Killdeer Chicks On the Wing

In the last two postings, we showed killdeer parents and two of their four young. The older two of the four chicks are pictured here.
The first four photographs show one of the more developed young. This first one, walked around in a field of moved grass - seemingly to draw my attention. When I came over to him, he slowly flapped his little wings.
From the photos, you can see that the primary flight feathers have developed well, but were not able yet to support flight.
Given the heat of the day, perhaps the wing motion was an attempt to cool off.
The last three photos show the second of the more developed pair, which stayed under and in a nearby small tree.
I never saw this guy actually fly, but he hopped and glided from branch to branch. The last photos shows this chick with his wings extended. After about 30 minutes photographing the four young killdeers, I followed the parents as they 'led' me away from the young.
Later in the day at about an hour after sundown, I walked across a field of mixed gravel and grass. And, from the clear squawking of at least one killdeer, I suspect I stumbled across another set of killdeer young. I never saw the killdeer in the dark. What an interesting day full of killdeer.

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