Friday, June 6, 2014

Killdeer at the Garden Center

Right before the Memorial Day weekend, I went to the garden center to get the veggies for the garden.  And for me, like for many gardeners, going to the Garden Center is never an “in and out” trip.  I always end up wandering around – looking at the perennials and herbs.  Scanning the annuals (I’m terrible at using annuals for “fill in color” but hope I’ll do that someday.)  And then, I head out to the rose, shrub, and tree area.

On this particular visit, I picked up a blueberry for the Riverman’s niece, who had two already had two plants of the same variety but needed a plant of a different variety to ensure she’ll get fruit next year.  See "Plants do it."

I also wanted to check out the roses to see if I could find a replacement for Crown Princess Margrethe and a companion for my Albert Holden lilac.  While I was face planting in the lilacs, I heard chirping, which became more urgent as I moved down the row of lilacs.  I spotted the source of the chirping near a flowering plum.  The nurseryman told me it was a Killdeer.  Another bird arrived, also chirping urgently.  I figured I was close to their nest, but couldn’t see one in any of the shrubs.  The man at the garden center gave me a quick lesson.  He said they nest on the ground and have picked the same spot for five years!  I did spot the nest – with 4 stone colored eggs -- in the base of the flowering plum sign. Apparently, the Killdeer pretend to have a broken wing to lure their predators (me, in this case) away from the nest.  I witnessed this behavior in both of the birds, but didn’t get a snapshot, because they were already distraught and I wanted to move away and give them peace.

If I had just gotten the veggies and not wandered to the shrub area, I would have missed getting to see and learn about this interesting bird!  

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