One of the best parts about working in the Avian Nursery is seeing the process of a newly hatched bird growing up, being cared for by our interns and volunteers, becoming independent, and eventually getting released back into the wild.
Every year around late May to early June, Killdeer chicks inevitably get brought to the WRC for rehabilitation. These cute, tiny little “cotton ball on toothpick leg” orphans will eventually turn into elegant, sleek shorebirds that are commonly found on golf courses, sod farms, mudflats and other areas of low or no vegetation. They can be challenging to raise during their first week of life. Killdeer have very specific temperature, habitat and food requirements that need to be met. They also need to feel safe and secure before they will begin self-feeding….but once they start eating, there is no stopping them!
Last week we released two juvenile Killdeer into a park next to a large marshy area, which is the perfect habitat for them as they demonstrated to us by seeking out food just moments after release. Watch a video of this here.