On my recent trip to Idaho an Montana I photographed several species of shorebirds at an alkali pond near the dam at the Lower Lake of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana including a Least Sandpiper, Avocets, a Wilson’s Phalarope chick and several Killdeer chicks. I photographed the Killdeer chicks the same day as the Least Sandpiper.
The Killdeer chicks were feeding along the edge of the pond, running around the mudflats, preening and resting. They look a little scruffy at this age but I think that adds to their cuteness. I have found it difficult in the past to get light on Killdeer chicks eyes but succeeded to do that in several frames last week. On my last trip to the refuge I had seen tiny chicks from quite a distance but these were close enough to photograph. Killdeer can have more than one brood during the breeding season and it appears that they do just that at the refuge. Killdeer chicks are precocial and active soon after hatching and will leave the nest as soon as their down dries. The adults are not known to feed the chicks and will lead them to feeding areas as soon as all the eggs in the brood hatch.
I don’t know how old the chicks were that I photographed but they foraged on their own and there were adults nearby. I focused solely on photographing the chicks though.
While I photographed the chicks I never heard them make a noise but the nearby adults did. Killdeer are known for being noisy and during the 18th Century that earned them the names of Chattering Plover and Noisy Plover. The chicks I photographed will be noisy too soon enough.
Life is good.