Killdeer nest on the ground in a shallow depression, often in gravel or sand, which is a bit of an issue at a place like Ridgefield where a gravel auto tour runs beside the many small ponds. A killdeer had laid four eggs in this nest at the edge of the road near the end of the auto tour, where the camouflage of the eggs will work against the likelihood of them not getting run over when the parents aren’t on the nest.
2011 turned out to be a good year for watching killdeer for me, all thanks to this pair. I first saw them up close near the refuge parking lot, then early one winter morning I spotted them again running in front of Horse Lake. Suddenly the male jumped onto the female and they mated, and later I had the privilege of seeing them raise their family at the edge of the lake. A little slice of killdeer life, all witnessed in the short space between the parking lot and the end of Horse Lake.