In My Driveway

I have no idea what kind of bird this is, and I’ve never seen one with those markings, before. [Edit: It is a killdeer]

I worry about it, because it’s up near the head of my driveway, right near a field full of cows, and it appears to be trying to draw me away from its young; it looks like it didn’t do a very good job of picking a place to nest. The good news is, near the driveway, coyotes, raccoons, and cats will stay away. The bad news is: humans.

It’s hard to see what’s going on, unfortunately. The bird is hopping away, dragging a wing like it’s wounded, then stopping whenever it gets too far ahead of me. She’s fine; she’s been doing this for days (this is the first time I stopped my car and hopped out with my phone to try to record it). Nikko Tinbergen described this behavior in Greylag Geese, which is why I recognized what the bird is trying to do. I hope it survives and its young survive.


  1. says

    Nightjars also do the fake broken wing while nesting to draw predators away. There’s video on youtube, I think.

    I used to walk across my town in the quietest part of night and sometimes see these flocks of weird birds by the railroad tracks. They had this call that made me think of bats and were too shy to let me get anywhere near them. I now know they were killdeer, but I’ve never seen as many in one place since then.

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Darzee the tailor-bird did that too.

    Of course, she was doing it as part of a conspiracy to ambush Nagaina, but hey.

  3. says

    Killdeers are quite common, and the male does the broken wing dance to draw predators away. They’re actually quite good at it all, and if it comes to it, will move the nest, babes and all.

  4. says

    and if it comes to it, will move the nest, babes and all.

    I wish they would! Their display catches my eye more than if they just hunkered down.