Killdeer are darling little birds and their high-pitched calls echo across the oyster farm on summer evenings. A couple of days ago Dave noticed that a mother killdeer had built an oyster shell nest in a gravel pile near the shucking plant. Today one of the eggs hatched. It was a very slow process.... we filmed the egg for about 10 minutes and got about 16 seconds of action. (And don't worry: we didn't actually help the bird.)
We went back to the nest a half hour later and the bird had hatched and its shell was gone, but it still was very lethargic. This site explains that killdeer are precocial birds, which mean they're born able to run and take care of themselves, as opposed to atricial birds like owls that need to be fed. Our little hatchling, however, looks like he could use a hearty breakfast in bed before going on his way.
Adult killdeer look like jailbirds. And we're really hoping that the juvenile bald eagle circling the parking lot doesn't notice the immobile killdeer chick. Eagles are neat, unless you see them flying off with something helpless, like your cat. (RIP He-Man).