Just some other birds I saw that day

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Photo by Chris Bosak
A Killdeer walks along the ground at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, Conn., March 2016.

Last week I posted about the Green-winged Teal I saw at a small pond at a cemetery Darien. I’m a big duck person so I get a little excited when I see a duck I don’t often see.

But the teal wasn’t the only good bird I saw that day. Here are a few more. (Above) Killdeer nest in the cemetery every year, so it’s good to know they are back. (Spring is close.) Last year I was lucky enough to capture the copulation of the pair. Click here for that link. Below, I can’t resist photographing a Great Blue Heron when the opportunity presents itself, regardless of how many Great Blue Heron photos I have already.

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Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Blue Heron looks for food at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, Conn., March 2016.

Killdeer handles the cold and snow

Photo by Chris Bosak A Killdeer stands in the snow at a cemetery in southern New England in late March 2015.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Killdeer stands in the snow at a cemetery in southern New England in late March 2015.

One of the drawbacks to being an early northward migrant is that they are subject to the whims of the early spring New England weather. Will it be hot, cold, just right? Raining, snowing?  The birds that show up in March are subjected to it all. But they’ve been doing it for generations, so for the most part, they can handle whatever is thrown at them.

Killdeer are one of these early migrants. They mate and nest earlier than most birds, too. So a little snow is no big deal for these “shorebirds.” The snow does make for nice photos, though.

Just a few gratuitous Killdeer photos

Photo by Chris Bosak A Killdeer at a cemetery in Darien, CT, April 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Killdeer at a cemetery in Darien, CT, April 2014.

 

I’ve always liked Killdeer. They depend on large, flat open spaces to lay their eggs. As that habitat disappears, Killdeer have proven to be very resourceful. I’ve seen Killdeer nests (really just a small depression in the ground) in places such as parking lots, ball fields and cemeteries. These guys I photographed this week at a cemetery in Darien. I have plenty of Killdeer shots already, but I couldn’t resist.

To add in one fact about Killdeer to make this post at least a little informative — they are one of the species that will use the “broken wing” tactic to keep predators away from their eggs and young. As a predator (or unwitting human) approaches the nest, the parent will walk away from the eggs to divert the attention. To keep the interest of the predator the adult Killdeer will pretend it has a broken wing and limp along the ground. When the predator is sufficiently away from the nest, the adult will fly away, leaving the predator dumbfounded and hungry.

One more quick fact: Killdeer are shorebirds, and are indeed found along the shore at times, but are usually found far from the shore.

Thanks for visiting http://www.birdsofnewengland.com

Photo by Chris Bosak A Killdeer at a cemetery in Darien, Conn., April 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Killdeer at a cemetery in Darien, Conn., April 2014.