Never herd a killdeer

I rode to work this morning. There’s a hot wind from the south. The turtle patrol is pleased to report no living or smashed turtles in the road. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I saw a killdeer huddled by the curb in the road. Thinking she might be injured I went to lift her up out of the road. As I approached, though, 5 or six little killdeer came scurrying out from under her protective wings and scattered out into the road. I tried to herd them back to the curb as best I could. Papa killdeer appeared from somewhere to protect his young, and he and his mate were trying to chase me away and gather their young- it took me all of a couple seconds to see I only made things worse, so I got back on my bike and rode on. I made another pass about 15 minutes later, and 2 of the little ones had been smashed by cars, the others gathered once again under their mother’s wings by the curb. I tried to restrain myself from making yet another pass before I came on to work, but I did. I wanted a happy ending to the story. But the little ones were still in the road, they are so tiny they cannot get up over the curb, and too small for cars to notice them, if they would stop. Knowing now that my interference might be fatal I kept my distance and watched as both mother and father killdeer tried to protect their young as best they could, keeping them near the curb and out of harm’s way. Poor killdeer. I hope they make it up out of the street because it will be very hot today on that asphalt. I wonder if they can abolish all curbs in the park? There will be another clutch of killdeer this year. Nonetheless this saddens me.

On a brighter note, I’ll be off to San Francisco later this week to meet up with a bunch of geeks like me. Perhaps I will see the wild parrots again that I saw a few years back. Mostly, though, we sit in over-air conditioned rooms and share work and ideas. And our neighbor has published his 3-volume novel!

Killdeer update: I rode back by the scene of the morning drama on my way home and stopped and watched. There were no little killdeer in the street, except for the two smooshed ones from this morning. Mom killdeer was on the streetlawn, preening, looking well-collected. I hope that the young ones were nearby, and chances are they were, since Mrs. K. was there. Here she is this afternoon.

Martins at home


This entry was posted in Biking, birds, Critters, Forest Park and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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