Beware, The Killdeer is There

Momma Killdeer Getting Defensive as Students Approch Her.

Momma Killdeer Getting Defensive as Students Approch Her.

Claudia Fisher, Reporter

If you’ve been outside for recess, you must have noticed a desk and bird in the field. This bird is in fact nesting, and it chose one of the worst possible places to do so.

This bird is a Killdeer, kind of a funny name right? The Killdeer is in the shorebird family, which includes sandpipers, plovers, godwits, and dowitchers. Killdeer have long legs, black and white stripes around their necks, a brown back, and a white belly. Killdeer get their name from the shrill and wailing kill-deer call they emit.

This momma Killdeer has unexpectedly decided to nest in the West yard. She doesn’t like when people get close to her, nor her nest of eggs. If you get too close, this protective Killdeer will start to screech, and flare its wings in self defense. It’s better not to disturb this hardworking bird and her soon to be babies.

As to why the staff has put a desk over its resting area, sort of speaks for itself. The desk is to alert people that there is a bird nesting, and it is supposed to keep students away, so that the bird doesn’t get disturbed, nor feel the need to protect itself at all times.

To figure out how we can keep this Killdeer family safe for as long as it’s here, I spoke with Mrs. Priest. She gave her knowledge on the situation, “Every year in the spring something nests somewhere around West. Last year, we had a rabbit nest with a bunch of bunnies, and this year it’s the Killdeer, which wasn’t very smart to nest there.” She mentions that we should put some kind of barrier around them so that kids, during and after school, don’t run it over. Maybe something better than a desk. She proceeds to mention, “I think we just always need to be aware that how we interact with our environment is important because other animals and things are important too. We should always try to help when we can, and do no harm.” She also reminds everyone that it’s our responsibility to take care of the animals around us.

A Killdeer, in Michigan conditions, tends to lay their eggs anywhere between April and June. A baby Killdeer will leave the nest about 31 days after hatching. The eggs will hatch anywhere between 24-28 days after the mother lays her eggs. There are about 5 eggs in the nest, and if you do the math, the hatchlings will hatch and leave the nest in the next two months. Given this information, this bird family will probably last until the end of the school year.

While this might not seem like a big deal, it is very important that we protect our wildlife when we can. Whenever you’re at recess, or just outside at West, be aware of this protective Killdeer. Make sure not to hurt or disturb her. This momma bird is only trying to protect herself, and her eggs, so please respect this soon to be family.

Maybe we could give the bird a name; that way it might be more sentimental for students who might not care. If we give this Killdeer a name, it will have a special place in our hearts. It could be a temporary, second, mascot. Mr. T suggests, “Ro-bird-a”. List some of your name ideas in the comments, and make sure to spread the awareness so that we can keep this Killdeer family safe while residing in the West community.