Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Mess With My Babies!!!!!

Do you remember the kildeer (we've always called them "kildee") eggs we found at the edge of our gravel driveway? (You can click on any of the pictures to view them a little closer).

We've been watching them diligently everyday. Since we weren't really sure how long Mama Kildeer and Daddy Kildeer have been sitting on the nest, we didn't want to miss the little ones' debut. The incubation period for the eggs is about 28-29 days. Mama Kildeer hasn't been real happy with me stopping by for my visits.

She immediately begins her squawkin' and fussin' at me....running off into the yard with her broken wing routine to distract me! She's so funny! Because I don't fall for it, she lies there even longer swinging that wing round and round as if saying, "Can't you see I have a broken wing here....come see"!

And then there's Daddy Kildeer overhead flying circles above us squawking and fussing at me to go away and leave his family alone! That's the way God made them to protect their family though, and they're doing a very good job at it! They're excellent parents....I can say that for them!

Friday evening, my dad (Pop) came over and told me that one of the four eggs had hatched and we had our first baby kildeer! With camera in hand, we immediately flocked to the nest. Isn't he (or she) cute?

Do you see the little beak hole in the egg beside him?

Mama and Daddy Kildeer were especially not happy with us then! Mama was scolding me!

Before we left to go out for dinner, the second baby arrived! See, she's still all wet!

Then there was a third one...

Mama must have gathered them all back together to snuggle...can you see all three? The next time I checked they were all scrunched up together snug and cozy!

And we were so blessed to actually be standing there when baby #4's little beak started breaking through first. And then little by little, she was pushing her way into the new world!

Meanwhile, Mama Kildeer was getting bolder. I guess she realized that this human was not giving up too easily. She was getting closer to me and really fussing! And then Daddy Kildeer was still flying overhead warning me to go away. After the above picture, we retired for the evening to let the parents tend to the babies. I was only hoping that the babies wouldn't be gone from the nest before we had a chance to see them, since it was overnight. They don't stay around very long!

The next morning by the time we got out there, one had already left the nest or was far enough away that he was well hidden in the grass somewhere. The others were still there. Mama was very protective on this day as if she sensed the most danger. She was becoming bolder.

First a warning....

Then she just became downright bold and approached me with this warning...."Don't mess with my babies!!!". Can you believe that sweet little bird above can make herself look like this??? Pretty impressive!

With that warning signal, I felt like she needed to be with them, so we did leave for awhile. When we did make it back out there, another baby was missing from the nest. The third one was walking around not far away. Can you see him? He blends in so well!

This baby became my model! He was so little and cute!

In this photo he seems to be saying, "Man, it's a big world out there"!

He wasn't fond of me following him around with the big black camera, but I did get a few more shots!

His long wiry legs were so wobbly! It was funny watching him walk, stumble, get up, flap his wings a little, then wobble along.

This left one more still lying in the nest. This one just wasn't ready to get up and try out her wobbly legs just yet. So, we went inside and waited. The next time, we went out there, they were all trace of them anywhere. All fragments and pieces of the eggs were gone and the only evidence that there had ever been a family of kildeer there, was a little indention in the gravel where the eggs had laid.

I think they're off somewhere trying out their lanky wobbly legs and even having trial flights with close supervision from Mama and Daddy Kildeer. Then they'll be off on their own and maybe they'll decide to make their nest here one day and....... hopefully I'll have my camera ready! :)


Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

What a sweet story Tammy, how lucky you were to be right there to take the pictures to record their being. Mother's are funny about you messing with their little ones.
Thanks for sharing.

mommynoodles said...

Awwww,too cute!! Always have a camera in hand,you never know when there we be a Kodak moment!!

Val - Apple Cottage said...

What a wonderful experience you had, and so blessed to be there to capture it on camera.

Denise said...

You got such good shots! I think the Kildeer are so fun to watch. Especially the mamas!

Have a great day, Denise

Shellmo said...

This must've been beautiful to witness!! Lovely shots!! I have a soft spot for killdeer - they are such diligent and protective parents!

In His service, Anne said...

So neat!!! Great pics!! Those babies are so cute. Have a great day, hope Joy is all better!


My favorite pasttime is watching birds and altho we don't have any kildeer ( or have'nt seen any) we do have lots of other colorful birds.. i have feeders and houses close enough to watch them.. While living in Michigan, we had a family of red-throated grosbeak and they were so fun to watch..
You are fortunate they were close enough for you to get all those up-close shots..

Carmen C. said...

How exciting to be able to watch them hatch! Momma looks very threatening in her warning pose, must be like dogs when they raise their hackles to make themselves look bigger! Very cute pics, thanks for sharing and have a lovely day!

Madison said...

to cute too be true!!! You got such good pictures of them!! We had carolina rens build a nest in are flower arrangment on the front door. But the mom never came back to her eggs.


CozyCoops Corner said...

What great pictures! They are all so cute! How fun to get to watch them so close.:-) Hope you have a good Monday Tammy!

Walking on Sunshine... said...

What great pictures! You were so brave...that one shot looks like the mother was coming right after you! Enjoyed seeing the new life on your driveway!!

UPON A HILL said...

Oh wow , really great pictures. Thanks for sharing nature in your backyard!

Angie said...

How precious! I love the pictures of the little baby walking sweet to witness it all. We are excited because the kids found a robin nest this weekend in their playhouse with 2 tiny blue eggs in it! Every Spring we are lucky enough to have robins make nests somewhere in our yard. I keep checking on them with all the wind we have been getting here! I hope Joy is all better by now!

The Whites said...

Tammy, that is so neat! It's amazing the things that mama bird will do to protect her babies!


Tami said...

Awwwwww....they are adorable! Great pictures Tammy!!!

Have a wonderful day!

Karen said...

I loved this!! The babies are so cute! I'm so glad you had your camera ready so we could all see this...great pictures!

Michele said...

Awwww Tammy ~ that's such a sweet post. Thanks so much for sharing and for the adorable pictures!


Sue said...

Now these are GREAT pictures. I can't believe the detail you were able to capture. When I saw the caption of your post I wasn't sure if it would be written from YOUR point of view....I KNOW how protective mamas can be (human or feathery)!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how adorable, Tammy... SO glad that you all got to enjoy the births...It's amazing how quickly they do leave the nest, isn't it?????

Thanks for sharing.

miss mary said...

what a wonderful story and great pics. Wow what excitement..What a blessing to have been able to see this.thanks for sharing with us.
hugs & God Bless

Zaroga said...

A wonderful thing to witness, Tammy. Wonderful pictures.

I keep hearing the chickadees in the box, but am afraid to open the box... one could fall out and get hurt, so I will settle for my bad, just hatched pictures :-)

Linda said...

great narrative, Tammy. and super pictoral. I love how you captured this life experience to share with us.

Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

How cool is that? I am hoping our duck eggs hatch! Sure is warm enough to incubate them! LOL

Daffodil Hill said...

I love these birds! There are some that entertain me on my evening walks. They can be so funny!

Daffodil Hill said...

I meant to also say how much I like the video you sent me. Very inspiring!

the primitive country bug said...

Oh what a blessing to get to see the last baby break through its little egg. I really enjoyed these pictures!
I'm so glad you happened upon these little darlings.
Hugs to you~ Birgit

rockriverstitches said...

Loved reading about your birds! Some birds build their nests in the most unusual places. Out in the open in gravel don't sound like a cozy nest! Enjoyed the pics.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Those are wonderful pictures, Tammy! The little ones are so cute- they're all legs!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this life experience with us! That was great that the mama kildeer didn't get any more agressive than what she did when you were taking pictures of her babies. You were so brave to get as close as you did Tammy! It is amazing on how fast they do leave their nests...

Miss not seeing you posting on your blog for the past couple of days here. Sure hope all is going good your way. Hope Joy is still feeling better, and that you and your family are doing good also. Take care now..and hope to see you posting real soon, as you're definately being missed for sure by this Oklahoma lady! Have a great day!

Love & Blessings,

Blessed Beyond said...

Oh Tammy, this is the sweetest!!! I loved all the pictures and just super sweet!!!! Hope yall are having a great week!
Hugs and Blessings,

Brenda said...

HI Tammy,
I just happened to stumble across your story & had to drop you a line. What a sweet story you have. My husband & I live in Nevada & we also have a resident Kildeer on our property in a gravel area that just today had their babies hatch. This morning 1 had hatched & its fuzzy little wobbly body was standing in its nest. This afternoon I checked again & 3 babies & egg shells were gone. Tonight 1 is still left with mama sitting on it. I stand amazed & humored both at the Kildeer, the way both male & female protect their young & put on their broken wing act. This is a first for me as I just moved here a few months ago from a big city in California. I didnt even know what a Kildeer was a few months ago.
Thanks for your story & take care!