Killdeer, Killdeer, Henry Schmeider Arboretum

There is always a chance of a surprise encounter when wandering into a garden.  Today we explored the Henry Schmeider Arboretum, which encompasses the entire campus of Delaware Valley University.  DSCN5895The iris and peony garden was blooming and hidden among the flowers on bare ground a killdeer sat on a nest. Alert and protective she called out her name onomatopoeically.  Her mate returned the call, both on alert and then she stood up!DSCN5904Under her were four eggs, spotted, camouflaged and like small rocks they seemed to set directly on the ground unprotected.  DSC_8683The mother flew off to fake an injury to draw me away from the nest. Calling out and flapping her wings she wanted us to follow her.  She wanted us to move away from the eggs.DSC_8682 We backed away and  she quickly returned to the nest.  All seemed well.  In just three weeks the babies will hatch. Remarkably they break out of the shell able to see and forage quickly after. 

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