Our killdeer babies that have taken up residence in the veggie garden have finally hatched! These little guys have been incubating for just about a month. The differences between the killdeer babies and the robin babies are amazing. The robin babies are still fairly helpless, even at a week old. They’re also still pretty naked. The killdeer babies came out fully feathered, and at a couple hours old, they were moving around the garden. Today, they are running from garden bed to garden bed! The kids got to learn the difference between precocial birds (birds that hatch fully feathered and able to hunt for food) and altricial birds (birds that hatch naked and are fairly helpless). The longer incubation period of the killdeer happens so that these little ones are born ready to go (which is probably a good thing since killdeer tend to lay their eggs in the worst places…gravel beds, gardens, lawns, even dirt roads!)
Just an hour or so after hatching...their feathers are all still wet.
All snuggled together...
Mama bird watching over her babies.
Later yesterday, they had moved from over by the parsley to over by the mint.
Still all snuggled together as one unit though.
They are all dried off and fluffy though!
At 24 hours old, they were all in separate parts of the garden today. This little guy was running from garden bed to garden bed!
Seriously, he is the cutest little thing ever!
Hanging out in the potato plants (and it looks like mama bird's dragging the wood chips over there now. We don't have wood chips in the garden, but she managed to find some and plop them in various locations around the garden for her babies.)
And in the robin’s nest…
Still sleeping away. They are starting to look more and more like adult birds though!
The wing bones are getting really defined!
I can't believe how fast they are growing now! There is hardly any room in the nest to move.
They seem to overflow the nest now! This one's the oldest one, and he looks so much like an adult bird. I'm sure he'll start getting ready for flying practice soon!