Killdeer plovers are in the road again. My driveway is close to a mile long, gravel and blacktop. The Killdeer seem to be particularly attracted to the gravel section of road of our road. I don't believe we have ever seen a killdeer up here on the top, but they abound down in the bottom lands along the road. Their nests blend in well with the limestone gravel of the road.
In the past we have had to mark a nest in the center of the road in order to keep cars from hitting it. If the nest is truly in the center there is no problem except for when our friend comes up the hill to cut hay. His tractor has a single wheel in the front middle. As long as we remember to tell him and mark the nest, he can avoid it. We would never even know the bird had a nest if the killdeer wasn't so obvious in trying to get us to ignore it. As soon as we get close, the parent begins classical killdeer behaviour of making its loud, high-pitched "deeeee" call and running away from the nest. It then hangs its wing down ungracefully as if broken in its attempt to convince us to watch her instead of seeing the nest.
The distinctive markings of a killdeer plover make an easy bird to identify, even for this amateur.
Each bird appears to be dressed for a formal gathering with its dark-banded white "collar" The clear eye markings are like dual colored eyebrows painted onto a dancer. I also think of a dancer when I see those long thin legs common to shore birds.
Nesting killdeer means that summer isn't far off with warm evenings by the pond slapping mosquitoes and hearing the call of a killdeer. "Deeeeeeee"