Black-necked Stilts are a shorebird that are rather striking looking. The shorebird has long pink legs, and a white and black body. It is about the size of a Lesser Yellowlegs. This was the first Black-necked Stilt I have ever seen. The Stilt was wading on the far side of the basin, trying to find some tasty insects, tadpoles or frogs to eat.
The Stilt was visiting the larger of the rainfall retention basins here in the development where I live. This basin is drying up so that may be why the pond is now attractive to shorebirds. I spotted this bird on Friday, May 8, 2015 early in the evening. It was there at the pond with the nesting pair of Mottled Ducks, a Boat-tailed Grackle, and a single Killdeer. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
Three Lesser Yellowlegs, a couple of Killdeer and a few Common Crows all were hunting for their early evening meal at the rapidly drying up rainfall retention basin pond here in the development. The Yellowlegs are frequent visitors to this seasonal pond. I noticed that the cattail reeds and grass along the pond’s edge had recently been mown. I spotted these Yellowlegs last evening at about 5:00 pm.
The Yellowlegs are a wading shorebirds and eat small fish, tadpoles, frogs, turtles, and larger insects. I think there are a lot of tadpoles (also called pollywogs) in this pond at the moment as well as many worms and insects. I am always happy to spot wading birds at the pond as it seems to be the only place now that I am seeing wading birds here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Here are more pictures that I took of the largest and rapidly shrinking, rainfall retention basin pond here in the development. I took these pictures of a lone Snowy Egret and three Lesser Yellowlegs on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. There is a lot of food now easily available to these birds.
I don’t know how much longer the water will support waders, but I sure was glad to be there and spot these beautiful birds! I took these pictures just at twilight and the light was golden. The birds were at the far side of the pond that evening, which is a big difference from the scene a few days ago (part 1). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
American White Ibises, a Great Egret, a pair of Lesser Yellowlegs and a songbird (a female Red-winged Blackbird?) were all busily trying to find their meal at the rapidly shrinking large rainfall retention pond on Friday, August 1, 2014. As you can see, this, the largest of the ponds in this development, is drying up quickly.
The one adult Ibis , as well as that brown-colored juvenile Ibis, had been at this pond all week. The Yellowlegs had just arrived on Friday as far as I can tell. All of these birds seemed to be in search of insects as there are no fish at the pond. Perhaps there also were some small tadpoles in the water there. I was glad to have seen all these big birds here in recent days! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. As ever, I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures.
I was out in the yard with the camera the other day and saw the Kildeer in its usual spot on the ground fairly close to the shoreline of the pond. That area has a mossy native plant ground cover as well as stubby grasses. My husband does not mow there because he noticed that the Kildeer was in the area and was nesting. I did not go anywhere near the nest but did stop a moment to take a long-lens photo. That was enough to set the bird off in its defensive “Wounded bird” act. I have included a picture of that action below as my last shot. My husband reported this morning that the bird is sitting on her nest and won’t budge, so likely the chicks are either hatched-out or nearly so this morning. I took these pictures on May 5, 2012. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
A few Kildeer have been around here lately. They especially browse for insects in the grass near the gulch area and also across the pond in the large cattle pasture that belongs to the next-door neighbor’s farm. Kildeer are shorebirds. They have long legs and a medium-sized pointed slender bill. They are brown on the back and white underneath. They have bands of very dark brown, that is nearly black.
Kildeer nest on the ground in undisturbed quiet areas when possible. The bird tricks predators by playing as injured to draw the predator away from the nest area. I got pretty close to one bird who seemed to just freeze in place when I walked near and stopped. I was about fifteen feet away from the bird and was in plain sight. I took most of the pictures yesterday, April 27, 2012 and also on April 19, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Kildeer are infrequent visitors here at the little farm. These shorebirds are also found far inland in areas such as my own little farm in Tennessee. The Kildeer are medium-sized birds that are about the size of an American Robin or a Blue Jay. Kildeer have long legs, and a long sharp bill. They are white, brown and black. The Kildeer eat insects and worms. They love hunting for bugs in cultivated gardens but also like gravel driveways, ball fields, and cattle pastures. Their song sounds like their name, a two-syllable “Kill-deer”.
This is the third time I have seen any Kildeer here at the little farm. I think more Kildeer may live next door in a grassy lawn or maybe also across the pond at the large cattle pastures there. Kildeer often try to lead predators away from their nests (on the ground) by pretending to be wounded and running away from the nest site. Many times, this ruse is successful. Clever birds! I enjoyed seeing this bird and taking its picture on March 27, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!