This morning I decided to stop at Hinesburg Central School to take a quick walk around the perimeter of the property. I compiled a list 17 species in ten minutes, including a pair of KILLDEER. At first I only saw and heard one Killdeer standing on first base of the baseball diamond. It was plucking at the base material and tossing it aside. Then the bird leaned forward, head down, tail raised and spread out while making “Kideah” calls. That’s when I noticed a second Killdeer running to first base, joining the other (base runner). The male then mounted the female.
According to Stokes Bird Behavior (volume 2): This visual display is called scraping and ...“occurs during advertising by the male early in the season, during aggressive encounters on the territory, and as a precopulatory display...” but their behavior looked like more than a base hit to me! I think it’s safe to say there will be a breeding pair of Killdeer on the HCS school property again this season. They usually make their nest on the roof of the 1958 wing of the building. The roof is low and flat and covered with small stones...a much better site than the ball field!
Other regulars seen and heard: A. Crow, A. Robin, H. Finch, H. Sparrow, Downy WP, Mallard, Grackle, Red-winged, Chickadee, Goldfinch, MoDo, E. Starling, N. Cardinal, Blue Jay, Kingfisher, and Song Sparrow.....with more guaranteed to be coming any day now!