So exciting picture first and then the others! Above is a picture of four eggs from a Killdeer plover (Charadrius vociferous) nest. Last night, my brother, sister and I decided to have a campfire and we had let the dogs out for a while to run off some energy before bed. As dusk was settling, they made their way down to the orchard of apple trees and we heard the loud shriek of the killdeer plover. We automatically concluded that there must be a nest down there because the bird would not leave the area and continued to "dive-bomb" the dogs whenever they got close to one of the trees.
This morning, after all the excitement from last night, I decided to carefully approach the area to make sure we knew where the nest was and to keep the dogs away from the tree that it was under.
Sure enough, there was a nest and the killdeer that was nesting on it let me approach very cautiously to capture some fantastic pictures!
One of the techniques that the killdeer use to distract predators away from the nest is known as the "broken-wing" method. The birds get up from the nest and move a safe distance away to draw the attention to them, then they portray that they have broken their wing, so that the predator believes it has come across an easy prey (Wikipedia).
I did observe this, but it was too quick to get a picture, before it flew up in the air and prepared to "dive-bomb" me too. So I cautiously withdrew from the area and allowed it to return to nesting. Pretty soon I hope to have some pictures of baby killdeer!