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Killdeers, Oh my!

I realized on Monday that since I came home from Europe, I hadn’t done any birding apart from the usual mental notes of what is around me when I’m outside. We had a horrible storm that I’d been dealing with and some work that piled up. I was feeling out of sorts and I thought, “Screw it, I’m going birding.”

Eastern Kingbird
And I was so glad I did, summer goes so fast, it’s easy to miss moments with common birds like this eastern kingbird. I’ve been playing quite a bit with the PhoneSkope adapter for my iPhone 4s and my Swarovski ATX scope and I’m overall pleased with it.  It’s interesting that I notice the fit sometimes isn’t as snug based on temperature fluctuations, but nothing major and easily fixed with a little tape. But I really like it’s compact size on my phone and I find myself reaching for my phone first and my Nikon V1 second when I want to digiscope something. The above shot was taken with the iPhone 4s, PhoneSkope Adapter and Swarovski ATX 85mm scope. If you are interested in ordering one of the universal iPhone adapters, you can get a 10% discount if you used the coupon code birdchick13. They have adapters for iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and even Androids. The exact one I’m using is the C-4 Kit. If you’re not sure which kit is for you, contact the folks at PhoneSkope, they’re very helpful.

killdeer family

While I was driving around the country roads of Dakota County, MN I came upon a family of killdeer. They scattered as I slammed on my breaks, kids running in all directions and adults flanking the front and back of my car.

Baby Killdeer

I paused to digiscope them quickly and also hoped that my vehicle stopped on the narrow road would encourage the other cars coming behind me to slow down and not hit the killdeer chicks. And really, how often do you get to see these little teeny, tiny puffballs on stilts? I posted one of the pictures of the baby killdeer to Twitter and @coneslayer called them “killfawns!” Which is what I will call young killdeer from now on!

killdeer

Here’s the adult that was in front of my car.  Look, the bird looks fine and normal so if I were a predator, I’d want to go for the tiny, slower, weaker killfawns, right?

Broken wing display

Oh wait, no that adult bird looks like it’s hurt, I of course want to go after that because it would be a higher food reward and an injured adult is easier to catch than a healthy chick, right? I just love that killdeer protect their kids by trying to fake you out, pretending to be injured. And even their rumps are kind of a rusty red, almost looks like an injury or blood–nature is ingenious.

Here’s the video:

 

I left after a few minutes when the adults herded the young kids off the gravel road. The adults must have looked mighty daring to the young killfawns–their parents protected them from the giant scary thing on the road. Always happy to help parents look cool to their kids.

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