Killdeer in Acrylic

I was looking over some old pictures this weekend when I came across a few of a Killdeer Plover I photographed a few times last year. I decided to do a pencil drawing of it and then thought I would color it in a bit with high-flow acrylic paints.

The real Killdeer only had black chest bands and brown wings. But I thought it would look neat all in black.

Escorted Home By Birds

A few weeks ago I wrote about a nest of Plover eggs that I had been watching for a while. I just happened upon it one day while I was taking one of my early morning walks in the neighborhood. The male and female parents would throw a fit every time I walked by. When I started stopping to take close up pictures of the eggs, they got even crazier. It got  to the point where I thought they were going to come try and peck at me.

Every time I came by, one of the birds would fly in front of me and squawk loudly while leading me away. Even after the eggs hatched they’ve kept up this practice. Sometimes, they continue walking with me for about a quarter of a mile until I reach my house. And yes, they seem to know where I live.

It’s always fun when you get a chance to interact with wild animals. It’s almost as if these birds have been scolding me for intruding on their day. They’re telling me they don’t trust me and to show it, they chaperone me to my house, ensuring I don’t make trouble.

When this first started happening, my kids were convinced I was in the middle of a fantasy story. They told me to follow the Plover wherever it went because it could lead to a magical portal into a different dimension or world. So far, I haven’t seen any portals appearing before me. But I still keep my eyes open.

A Nest In the Rocks

I try to take at least one walk around my neighborhood each day. I do it for exercise but I also enjoy observing all of the little intricacies of daily life for the few hundred people and animals that live around my street. For several days now I have noticed a couple of birds hanging out in the same area by a retention pond. Every time I walk by they throw a terrible fit. But they never fly away.

So yesterday I took my camera on the walk and stopped to see if I could get some pictures. I knelt down to take the picture and the bird went crazy. It made a lot of noise, turned its back on me and spread its feathers. When that failed to scare me away it made attempts at charging me while yelling spreading its wings.

My wife was along and commented that there must be a nest nearby. I couldn’t understand why it was making such a ruckus when I was still standing on the sidewalk. Then my wife pointed and asked “are those eggs?” Sure enough, right there in the rocks next to the sidewalk were four eggs. I had been standing about six inches from them. They were a black and cream spotted egg and they blended in really well with the rocks and dirt.

No wonder the bird was angry. But really, it was poor planning on her part. I’m not very good at identifying birds off the top of my head. I was, however, able to do a bit of research and discovered this is a pair of Killdeer. Killdeer are a type of Plover. I’ll be checking on the eggs now when I walk by. Hopefully some dog or other animal doesn’t get to them before they can hatch.