Mar 10 2012

Killdeer’s Broken-Wing Display

Published by at 6:30 am under Bird Behavior,Nesting & Courtship

When I wrote about killdeer nests on Tuesday, Emily and Kurt left comments reminding us that these birds lure danger away from their nests by pretending to be injured.

Here’s a video showing the killdeer’s broken-wing display, a convincing bit of play-acting.  The adult looks gravely injured to attract the predator’s attention.  As soon as the predator has been lured away from the eggs or babies, the killdeer makes a miraculous recovery and flies away.

In the video you can see why the adult is so worked up.  A very cute baby killdeer runs away from the intruder at 5 seconds into the video and another hides in the grass at the 25-second mark.

Mama Killdeer thought he was scary but the man with the videocam was helping her family.  He was herding her babies out of the street where the traffic was dangerous.

(video taken in Boise, Idaho by gogrimm, posted on YouTube)

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