Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Field of Dreams: Killdeer in the future Outdoor Education Laboratory

I've not posted for several weeks. It's the last few weeks of the semester and things are hectic, leaving little time for explorations and walks. I noticed something today from my third floor laboratory. There has been a lot of construction going on across the campus, mostly involving the design and alignment of a road around the north end of campus. A worker was putting up some markers along the north edge of our future Outdoor Education Laboratory, which is intended to be a small natural habitat on campus that will replicate some of the natural ecosystems of the Great Valley.  The work was causing a commotion, as a number of Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) were voicing their objections to his presence.
I'm curious to know if our Outdoor Education is already in operation. I didn't see the Killdeer doing their iconic "broken wing" distraction, but I'm wondering if they maybe have a nest out in the weeds somewhere in the midst of the future habitat. Nature may be claiming its spot.

We've been fighting for an outdoor education facility on this campus for more than thirty years, and it is our understanding that it is finally going to happen. We haven't been kept in the loop on the planning, so I hope it doesn't get screwed up. There is a lot of potential value in having something more than displays in a museum. Displays are important, but imagine the thrill of learning something inside the museum, and then stepping outdoors and witnessing the phenomena in real life. It's priceless..
The field of dreams! I hope it won't turn out to be a broken dream.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! I saw a killdeer pair dance not too long ago, defending a nest near Stouffer Park. I love their latin name.