Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fly Away, Killdeer!

11:55 a.m. on Sunday. The mall would open soon. Shoppers were filling the parking lot when a small something caught my attention. And, in turn, I do believe I caught the attention of Mall Security.

There was too much traffic. One of those immature joy-rider types in his beat up and rusted bucket of crap - you know, the one lookin’ like a fool with his pants on the ground, thought it would be fun to flatten a plover. Oh... did he fuel my fire. I went after him on foot.

Flatten me first, idiot. I dare ya.


Oh, no. Fly, little Killdeer!


This is not a good place for you.


But you walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Stop it! You have wings, you know.


I kindly re-directed another vehicle. They smile and nod. At dinnertime they laugh about the crazy lady on the mall parking lot. I know that few people care about a dead bird.


Killdeer turned around and headed my way. I do have a knack for that.


If you must walk all around, you’re safe with me. Come closer.


Nice dance moves. Cha-cha?


We meet.

Don’t look so worried. I must tell you this…


Be gone from this ugly parking lot! I really need to get inside for my pedicure now so don’t make me worry. Scram!
I'd love to wear horizontal stripes and look so cute.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Little Killdeer does look worried!
What is it with people (idiots)trying to hurt critters?
Glad you were there. They don't want to mess with you!

Richard said...

Not only cute but pigeon-toed also.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, as I read what you're writing, I find myself so distracted by his stylish stripes. Irresistible!

Michelle Palmer said...

Beautiful! Love that you had a sweet morning visit with this friend~
I bet your pedicure conversations were fun!

The Reeds said...

How cute!!

dguzman said...

You've met so many birds up close and personal. I love how you're always ready with your camera skills.

RuthieJ said...

Thank you for saving the killdeer Mary! I wish all people were more aware and caring.

Susan Gets Native said...

What is it with you and me and parking lots and maniacs, Mary?

You saved a killdeer. Bring on the karma.

NCmountainwoman said...

Birdcharmer to the rescue yet again! I loved the story and my imagination loved envisioning you re-directing traffic while you tried to save the Killdeer and still be on time for the pedicure.

dugfresh said...

so what's up with killdeer and parking lots? i have a ton of killdeer pics and most of them were shot in a parking lot.

i love these guys. i like their call during flight. i also love that they flash even more color/patterns when they're flying.

you must have some magic bond with creatures, mary. they come toward you?!? incredible. i seem to have the opposite effect. maybe it's my deodorant...

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Bird whisperer you are. I hope it found a safer place to hang out.

Anonymous said...

He's soooo handsome in those stripes! Are you sure he didn't break out of the state prison??

The Blue Ridge Gal

The Quacks of Life said...

the Pied Wagtail can often be seen in car parks scurrying about. Killdeer though is very unexpected!

Jayne said...

They seem to always turn up in THE most inopportune places! I mean, seriously... do some more house hunting! I see them all the time in areas so NOT fit for nesting, and yet, there they are just walking around and screaming, as if they had no clue this might not be prime nesting ground. You have to hand it to them... they are brave, feisty little buggers!

Dog_geek said...

Aww, I love killdeer, but I'm really hoping that they don't return to build a nest in our driveway this summer - that was nerve-wracking enough last year!

Catbird said...

Great story and pix! The shot of it walking toward you with its head down -- determinedly going about its business -- is priceless. How can anyone not intervene?

jason said...

Good for you, Mary! A woman after my own heart. I fear for my life sometimes because I'm willing to stand up and say something--or act--in defense of wildlife. It's always a gift knowing there are others doing the same thing.

And killdeer are a sublime joy for me. They hold a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled you kept the bird safe and got these awesome photos. You put a HUGE smile on my face.

Beth in NYC said...

Dopey birdies, always putting themselves in danger. Of course, they were probably going to the same places way before the parking lots were laid. Nickerson Beach on Long Island has a big parking lot and I find myself crawling through it after a morning of shooting black skimmers so I don't run over the sanderlings and gulls that hang out there.

Anonymous said...

Glad you helped this little guy to safety!

Eagleseagles said...

Great - photos...and the right response to a bird in a dangerous area.

Now me - in the UK would love to see one here - I have missed several in the past!

What a little smart bird - all stripes and some attitude -

Kerri Farley said...

Oh what a beautiful bird! So glad you saved him :)

Dawn Fine said...

hee hee..Did u get stripy toe nails?

Cindie Ulreich said...

The killdeer is my hubby's very favorite bird. Ed is a farmer and anyone who knows farmers knows they are very particular about plowing straight rows. He's also a softie. I've seen him get off the tractor to find the nest and plow around it, when confronted with the "broken wing" routine.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Amazing niche the kildeer has figured out--the closer to humans and their dangerous activity they put their nests, the less likely they are to get eaten by a mammalian predator. So they plop them right on the edge of gravel driveways, in the middle of parking lots--and rely on screaming and displaying to keep their human protectors from crushing them. It's so fascinating. The related Blacksmith plover in Africa nests right in the middle of well-trampled game trails, and stands over its eggs flaring black-and-white wings in the face of startled wildebeests and elephants. And it must work, at least well enough for them to keep it up.

Here's to women who stop traffic for birds. Love you!

Anonymous said...

LOL! The camera went with you for a pedicure, huh?!

I'm glad. Those are such cute pictures (that closeup--WOW!) and I'll certainly recognize a killdeer from now on.

I can wear horizontal stripes--as long as it's a HAT!

Rosie (Leaves n Bloom) said...

ah he's so cute with those lovely markings. I've never seen a killdeer before.

Rose said...

Great shots, Mary! We used to have kildeer here, but I haven't seen them in several years. I certainly have never seen them as close-up as this. He doesn't know how lucky he was to have a protector like you nearby. The world needs more "crazy ladies":)

Eliza said...

I saw a pair late at night in a parking lot a few weeks ago. Low-rider vehicles kept roaring across the lot (they were using it as a cut-through) but the birds ran out of the way. I couldn't believe they were out so late... in a parking lot... in the winter... it was literally freezing!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little bird. I've never seen one in person but I'll be looking! It's great you were at the right place at the right time!!


Balisha said...

I always learn something here. Hooray for Mary!! Thanks Julie for explaining their habits for us.

mon@rch said...

Mary, these are such outstanding photos of this Killdeer! This is up close and personal for sure!

オテモヤン said...


NatureWoman said...

Ugh, glad you were there to save this little guy, Mary. Your pics are so awesome!! I love seeing it up close!

Tina said...

Hi Mary,
How can anyone want to harm an innocent little bird? I'm just glad you spotted the idiot and came to the rescue. Killdeer are so neat to look at. I do admire the way they wear those neck rings!!.. and I don't usually get to see them so close up. Nice photos!! Hope you were able to relax and enjoy your pedicure and not worry about that little killdeer.

Appalachian Lady said...

This guy probably was allowed to chase birds as a kid. I see this all the time at the beach or ponds. I worry too like you. Great shots of the killdeer.

Cathy said...

I believe, my friend - that you would have taken them on and beat the snot out of them.

I had a similar experience in our local gardens.
There was no one else there but a group of teenagers.

They were mercilessly harassing the geese.

I screamed my lungs out and they moved away giving me dark looks over their shoulders.


Good job, honey.

A New England Life said...

I've been there Mary! Well not to that mall but in that situation ... trying to rescue a baby bird from the middle of the road! The parents of the bird were freaking out, and I'm hoping not to get hit.

I put the young bird where I thought it would be safe. Hopefully it was. Unfortunately you can't save them all. But you can save one!

Larry said...

That last photo is really sharp. Now that I think about it-dressing up like a Killdeer for Halloween would make for a unique costume.