Killdeer Nest in the Flint Hills

More accurately, the title should be killdeer nest on the scenic overlook right off the highway.

Last weekend, we took a trip to Oklahoma to visit family. Our route takes us through the Flint Hills of Kansas. Pretty but hard to photograph at 70 mile per hour. This time, however, we were driving through them during the sunset hours.

My husband agreed to stop at the Bazaar Cattle Pens overlook so I could take “just one photo of the sunset.”  Of course, one is a relative number to the person holding the camera.

I could hear the Killdeer calling as I took my “one” photo.  After spotting one down below near a pond, I turned and saw the one sitting on the rocky viewing area.

Must have a nest nearby, I mentioned to a woman as I glanced over toward it. She informed me it was sitting on it! Suddenly, one photo of the sunset became a few photos of the Killdeer sitting on the nest. Using the zoom lens as to not disturb the bird too much.

Although, she certainly chose a rather high traffic nesting site!

Killdeer Nest

The photos probably could be better. Working against the light and with worries my impatient family might leave me stranded on I-35 didn’t help my concentration.

The nest stood maybe 2-3 foot from the overlook rail. You can faintly see the nest to the left of the rail (Look closely, that black “rock” is the bird) in the sunset photo: 

The above photo gives a good idea how close people were to the nest. I doubt most of them knew it was there. I’d have missed it as well if not for the brief conversation about it. Then, the best part of our stop:

Killdeer attempting to distract us from the nest.

Watching the bird’s partner feign injury to get us away from the nest! A woman worried the bird had a broken wing. Happily, I told her about the act to get us away from the nest. (Knowledge I only recently learned from reading Anni’s I’d Rather B Birdin’ blog. She’s got great Killdeer pictures over there, much better than these!)

The Killdeer nest along the interstate was definitely the highlight of my birding adventures last week.

I’m linking this post up with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’. Be sure and visit her site for truly amazing bird pictures!

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10 thoughts on “Killdeer Nest in the Flint Hills

  1. Phil Slade

    A nice find Jean. In a perverse sort of way, by choosing to nest in such a busy spot the Killdeer is guaranteeing some sort of safety from predators who keep away from humans.

    Reply
  2. Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'

    Awesome!! Last month I kept tabs on a Killdeer nesting site. With great pleasure I saw three babies hatched. Great ‘injury’ shots. I so enjoyed your post, with my thanks for joining us at I’d Rather B Birdin’ this week!
    Anni @ I’d Rather B Birdin’ recently posted..April MigrantsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! I remember reading your post about the Killdeer 🙂 Always learn so much over on your blog. Thanks for hosting the Bird Depot!

      Reply
  3. Eileen Wise

    Hello, the Killdeer are so sweet. Great photo of the eggs and nest. I hope they all stayed safe. Enjoy your day and the new week ahead. Thanks also for commenting on my post.

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! I hope they hatched and stayed safe as well. Such a public place. Sadly, too far away for me to return and check on them.

      Reply
  4. Marie-OR

    Love the killdeer and the sunset. Don’t you just hate it when you can’t stop to take the photos you see! You got a lot in with your “one photo.” 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. Yes, I always see interesting things as were driving down the interstate but usually no safe place to pull over for my photos.

      Reply

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