Under normal circumstances it’s not unusual to find killdeer nesting in the park this time of year. But the park has been anything but normal since the fence went up and renovation began last April. Nevertheless, the killdeer have persevered! Despite the rumble of heavy equipment and construction, a killdeer pair recently settled down to nest at LASHP. Like the staff archaeologists who have been monitoring construction activity to protect cultural resources, we have environmental scientists on staff looking after our nest and wildlife. Once the nest was discovered, a wide perimeter was established giving the killdeer a safe space to incubate their eggs. On May 11 the mother killdeer was spotted sitting on her eggs. On May 12, chicks!
Killdeer nest on the ground and spotting a nest with the naked eye isn’t easy. The eggs really blend in with gravelly locations that the birds prefer. You’ll know a nest is near if you notice a pair of killdeer making noise and scurrying excitedly around. They do this to lure predators away from their nesting location. One of the birds will pretend to have a broken wing, flapping about on the ground, further and further from the nest. Quite a fascinating charade and interesting adaptive behavior. Here is a nest with four eggs found just yesterday at Rio de Los Angeles State Park.