Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Killdeer at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Is there anything more striking than the fiery eye of a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)? They are certainly interesting to watch for other reasons, but that eye just commands one's attention. We were on a short exploration a couple of weeks ago at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, and one of them was kind enough to hang around close enough for a few pictures.

Killdeers are members of the Plover family are named for their unique call, not for anything violent they might do to a deer. They are found across all of northern and central America, and have done well living close to humans. They are ground-nesters, and as such have developed a dramatic broken-wing act designed to draw predators away from their nests.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge preserves a portion of the floodplain of the San Joaquin River and Bear Creek on the floor of the Great Valley south of the town of Turlock. There are three auto tours, and eight nature trails that provide access. The Killdeer was seen along the Bear Creek Unit auto-tour, a loop of about two miles just off of State Route 165 (Lander Road). The road passes a variety of riparian wetlands and grassy prairie. We'll be back in a few weeks, because the abundant rains this year promise a stunning wildflower show.

No comments:

Post a Comment