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Flight of the Killdeer

Flight of the Killdeer
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6, 58mm circular polarizer
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds in Flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-23 15:41
Viewed: 3302
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I finally got a photo of this little hyper-active bird in flight. Their movements are very sudden and quick. Photographed on the shore of Grapevine Lake in Texas on 11/19/06. I tried to remove the noise from photo, but was afraid of loosing any more detail. I am trying to learn not to over-process an average photo.

Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius

The killdeer has brown upper feathers and white undersides. It has a a brown head with a black band between its eyes, white "eyebrows" and black bands around its upper chest. It has a sharp, black bill; long legs and a long tail. Males and females look the same.

The killdeer breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland south. It winters north to British Columbia, Utah, the Ohio Valley and Massachusetts. It also can be found in Central and South America.

The killdeer can be found in open grasslands, wetlands, fields, croplands and pastures, and short-grass prairies. They are often found on sandbars, mudflats and pastures.

Insects make up the majority of the killdeer's diet, but they will also eat berries and crustaceans.

Life Cycle
Male killdeers claim nesting territory before selecting a mate. To attract a mate, the male will stand in his territory and make a two-note call for hours at a time. The male may also scrape at the ground and fly over his territory. Once killdeers have mated, the pair will scrape out a nesting site. The female killdeer lays an average of four eggs. Both the male and the female incubate the eggs. It takes about 24-28 days for the eggs to hatch.

The chicks are precocial, that means they can move around and feed themselves shortly after birth. Once the chicks' down dries, the parents will lead them to a feeding area. The chicks stay with their parents until they fledge a month after birth. The killdeer may have two broods a year.

The killdeer sometimes distracts predators from its nest by pretending to be injured. It drags itself along the ground, sometimes on one foot, dragging its wings like they are broken. When the predator turns it attention to the killdeer and away from the nest, the adult killdeer flies away. Killdeer do not gather in flocks. They are solitary or in male and female pairs.
Source: http://www.nhptv.org/Natureworks/killdeer.htm

blakitan, JPlumb, Argus, elefantino, coasties, Juyona, ellis49 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Ken,
Superbly capturing this flying killdeer. Even if this image is not very sharp and neat, but I think this is still a great shot. DoF is nice. Well composed picture.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2006-11-23 22:57]

Hi Ken, This is a very fine, detailed shot of the Killdeer. Judging from the lines in the water I'd say he must have been moving pretty fast with you zooming along with him. Great shot, great note, and your PP is great too (not overdone).

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-11-24 1:15]

Hi Ken,
Though a little noisy, this is an excellent in-flight capture of a Killdeer. I like the compo. and the light in the eye.
These in-flight shots are not easy.
Well done!
TFS, regards, Ivan

Hello Ken,
great inflight capture.
Well done and TFS,


Hi Ken

Excellent in-flight shot. Love the POV. Crisp, clear and sharp. Congrats!

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2006-11-24 10:03]

Hola Ken, buen disparo y agradable vuelo, un poco de ruido, pero magníficos detalles, muchos saludos

Hi Ken,
Though a little noisy this is a very nice in-flight shot.
Good light and colours.
I like the compostion too.
Well done.

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