can killdeer birds move their eggs

The reason for my query in the subject line is that as of yesterday, there were only three eggs instead of four. YET, the nest has four eggs again today!? We don’t notice the nearby, empty nest, but is it possible that they moved one egg because we constantly disturb them, or did she just lay another egg to replace the one that was lost?

The bad news is that I do not think this nest will survive because our neighbor has a million cats, and we constantly have a parade of raccoons that I trap virtually every day. Related Stories.

To begin with, I have read more about killdeer today than even the most dedicated ornithologist, and I still don’t have an answer. But I digress.

We have four eggs in a killdeer nest that is in the middle of our driveway. We have had this nest before. In addition, another obviously empty nest is located about five feet away. We can drive our cars around it because it’s a little fortunate and inconvenient at the same time. Of course this also gives us an entertaining “oh, ouch. Every time we drive in and out or get the mail, the parents give us the “Look at my broken wings” show.

In addition, I painted a perimeter around the nest or nests and sprayed four bricks with bright green landscape paint to help us remember not to drive over the area and to let others know that something is wrong.

Killdeer are high-strung birds. If they’ve noticed you close, you might see them perform a tense and funny dance in which two Killdeer approach and pause to bob their heads. They then pass each other side by side, but then they stop, turn to face each other again, bob their heads, and repeat the sequence.

Newly hatched Killdeer chicks cant’t fly, but they can swim. I am aware of this because, shortly after hatching, the lone adult and three chicks settled on a spit of land close to the shore. It’s amazing to watch them slowly put their feet into the water and begin to paddle while holding their necks up high as if to prevent themselves from falling in.

Some birds use a technique known as “broken wing” to divert predators from their nest or their helpless young. Killdeer hobbles a short distance while pretending to be injured, then pauses and lets out a high-pitched trilling sound. The bird repeatedly and abruptly moves farther away from the approaching predator The bird takes off as soon as it is outside the nest, leaving the predator to search for another meal. It seems like their flight call is saying, “Ha, I sure fooled you.” I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of this behavior in fending off predators who carry cameras.

On August 2, I saw three Killdeer chicks feeding on the mudflat, right next to the first nest I discovered in mid-May. There was only one adult present, and it was acting as though there was no tomorrow as it made alarm calls and displayed broken wings. This one must have been among the first nesting adults, but on its third attempt, it successfully raised a brood.

Although they are considered shorebirds, killdeer are typically found far from the shore. Grazed fields are often a good place to find them. Imagine the danger that livestock present to these robin-sized birds. Remarkably, Killdeer have developed another distraction behavior called “ungulate display. The bird takes an aggressive stance and flaps its wings as it rushes toward the much larger intruder. I’m not sure how a cow would respond, but when it happened to me as I emerged from behind my blind, I was shocked.


Can birds move their eggs?

In conclusion, birds can indeed move their eggs, especially when they feel the need to protect them from potential harm. However, not all bird species possess this ability, and the process of egg relocation requires careful handling to prevent damage.

Can you move a killdeer egg?

Answer: Don’t move the eggs to a safer place. The parents know where to find them because they remember where they put them, just a titch away from that weed or some jiggy thing, and that’s where they’ll go to look for them. It’s hard, but leave them alone. To help, you could set up an obstacle to warn car wheels away.

Do killdeer have to sit on their eggs?

Both parents incubate the eggs for 22 to 28 days typically. The young stay in the nest until the day after being hatched, when they are led by their parents to a feeding territory (generally with dense vegetation where hiding spots are abundant), where the chicks feed themselves.

What to do if you find killdeer eggs?

If you have found a killdeer egg, it’s important to remember that it is illegal to possess or attempt to care for wild birds without the proper permits and training. It’s best to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or wildlife authorities for assistance.