I can’t help thinking of these adorable birds as clowns. They call out their name, “Killdeer, killdeer,” to get your attention, and then run away, staying just out of reach. They never get so far ahead that you’ll be discouraged from following them, or close enough for you to catch them. And all the while you are being decoyed farther and farther away from the nest, which is somewhere on the stony ground. You’d wonder that any babies ever survive, but they do. On the day of this photo, there were three adult killdeers at the garden.

Kildeer

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