It’s time once again for the killdeer to lay their eggs. These are some pretty cool birds. They lay their eggs on the ground–creating a slight depression to hold the eggs. They often lay the eggs in gravel or near a dirt road. The eggs almost look like rocks and can be difficult to spot. Here is the nest I ran onto this evening:
Obviously having a nest on the ground can be dangerous and very susceptible to predators. However, the killdeer have an answer for this. As you (or a predator) approaches, mom will run from the nest. Then she will suddenly fake a broken wing (to entice the predator). As you follow her, she always stays just a step ahead, though it appears that she can barely walk, let alone fly. When she feels that you are far enough away from the nest, she will fly off.
Ah, but behold the cuteness of a baby killdeer: