I have forgotten exactly where I saw this Killdeer. It was on some piece of private land in the basin just west and south of Salt Lake City. Our group was traveling on a gravel road via bus, stopping occasionally to get a glimpse at some shy sparrow, or distant raptor. This Killdeer had built its nest on the side of that gravel road. Being on private land, I imagine that the gravel road did not get much traffic, so the Killdeer took advantage of this prime piece of Killdeer real estate without realizing its peril. Luckily it was on the side of the road, far enough over to be easily avoided - even if you had no clue the bird was there, sitting on eggs in the gravel.

The guide for our field trip pointed the bird out to us. The bird tolerated us at a distance, but if anyone got too close it would stand up and nervously watch. I suspect it was debating whether it should begin its act of feigned, injured retreat in order to draw attention away from its nest. We gawked, and tried to keep a respectful distance. After my encounter with the Dusky Grouse, this was a far happier encounter. But I still felt like an intruder, bumbling about in the house of a complete stranger while I selfishly took pictures of them and their decor.

Killdeer on nest

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