She was so camouflaged, that I almost walked right past her. When I stopped and stared at
her, I saw her pretty little brown and white, striped body sitting so peacefully on her eggs.
I didn't dare get too close to her, and yet, as I walked nearby to take her picture, she did not
move. My husband informed me that she was a "killdeer" bird, and interestingly, this bird
chooses to lay her eggs in open parking lots or fields. I briefly researched facts on the
"killdeer", because I knew so little about them. Here is a bit of what I read;
"You sometimes see an adult killdeer in gravel, such as along a rocky railroad easement, or on
a dirt road. As you approach, the killdeer may suddenly develop a broken wing. It struggles
in front of you, as if it can barely walk, let alone fly. One or both wings drag pitifully on
If your instinct to rescue the killdeer overcomes you, and you try to catch the bird, it almost
lets you reach out and pick it up. But, somehow, while struggling to keep its balance, the
killdeer manages to stay one step ahead of you. As you pursue it, the killdeer leads you
farther and farther away from its four downy killdeer babies crouching on the ground or
half hidden under a tiny bush.
When the killdeer feels that the young are safe from you, its broken wing heals suddenly,
and the bird flies away, calling a loud "KILL-DEE" that sounds like a jeer.
After you've been fooled a time or two by the broken wing display, you don't give the
deceiving adult killdeer a second glance. Immediately, you look around for the killdeer
babies. You may see one disappearing into the grass or flattening itself on the ground and
As I thought through these most interesting facts, my mind went to a recent visit
that I made to our local Barnes & Nobel Store. As I was walking from the back
of the store, to the front check out section, I passed a large section of books labeled,
"Parenting". I stopped and stared at the plethora of books on mothering, parenting,
schooling, nursing... I was instantly reminded of the fact, that way back, when
I was a young mother, I did not have access to ALL this advice, ideas, and
medical suggestions. No, I tackled my new mothering tasks, one day at a time,
doing what I had learned from many of the women who had done it all before me.
Now, I am not saying that my way was better. Neither am I saying that the vast
amount of informative books are wrong. But, I do think, we live in an
"information overload" time of life. So much freely given advice to young mothers,
so many strongly felt opinions about how to do things, when to do them, and
why they should be done.
My mind went to the almost hidden killdeer on the church parking lot. I
thought about the amazing way, mothering were instilled into her being.
Who taught her "parenting skills"? How did she learn the "broken
wing" display as the clever way to keep predators away from her eggs,
and then her young? Where did she learn to produce the loud "KILL-DEE"
jeering sound that she calls out, as she continues her protective endeavors?
Just a few thoughts, that followed my encounter with the brown and
white striped killdeer, with the bright eyes, sitting quietly on my church parking lot.
Thank you for stopping by.