Friday, May 27, 2011

Killdeer - Fledglings

I guess fledgling is the correct word to use for these young Killdeer. Merriam-Webster states: to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity; also : to leave the nest after acquiring such feathers. While they can't yet fly, they definitely have left the nest.
Ever since seeing a pair of Killdeer flirting at RNWR earlier this Spring, I have been watching for the first signs of youngsters and today was the day. I
t was a nasty day at times, raining hard with dark clouds.
The young would run around for awhile under the watchful eye of the parent (mother?). Then, maybe because of the rain, the cold or possibly my presence, they would snuggle up under their parent. It was rather cute.
I got a little wet taking these pictures, but it was worth it. Now I hope to see some on a sunny day. In this low light, the fine, wispy feathers of the fledglings turned out rather soft in the images even though their legs were usually rather sharp.

Update: It was pointed out by a commenter that these are actually 'chicks', not 'fledglings'. Quote "These are not fledglings, but are chicks. They are precocial, meaning they are born with downy feathers and are able to walk and feed themselves. Once they molt their downy feathers and acquire flight and body feathers they are fledglings. Takes 4 weeks or so."
My thanks to the anonymous commenter!

4 comments:

  1. Oh wow they are adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are not fledglings, but are chicks. They are precocial, meaning they are born with downy feathers and are able to walk and feed themselves. Once they molt their downy feathers and acquire flight and body feathers they are feldglings. Takes 4 weeks or so. Cool pics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, of course, like chickens. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great series of photos! I've been wanting to see young Killdeer but haven't had any luck so far this season.

    ReplyDelete