Killdeer nesting in The Oxbow

If you walk down Oxbow Lane, you’ll come to a bridge over the stream. When the canal water level is lowered for the winter, a spit of sandy sediment is exposed. A pair of Killdeer birds decided this was the perfect place for their ‘nest’, though its hardly a nest, just a few rocks placed around a shallow depression.
They defend it by pretending to be wounded and flutter around, moving further away from the nest. If you walk in the opposite direction to them, and you have a good eye, you might, just might, find the nest.
This pair did a great job of protecting their property, but Father Time caught up with them and the canal started to fill before the babies hatched.  I made a small floating platform out of ply and styrofoam, covered it with sand and tied it to a stake. Then I carefully moved the eggs onto the platform, amidst a  lot of squawking and fluttering protests.

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The next day I found mother Killdeer happily sat on the new nest.
Alas, I don’t think the outcome was a success, because when  I returned a day later, the water had risen covering the sand spit, the platform was awash and the eggs were gone. I can only hope the parents moved the babies to higher ground.

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Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see www.mud-skipper.com). I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my wife Carol and our two dogs.

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