Just before our first real cool front of the season, I stumbled across this group of a dozen or so Killdeers (Killdeer?) in a field near the office.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)
(Click any image to enlarge)
One of these little plovers was thoughtful enough to give me a great view of his coloring and field marks with wings spread — something I rarely get to see this close up.
And even though I stayed in my car so as not to disturb them, apparently one fellow decided I was getting just a tad too close to his family. I'd heard it described before, but this was my first time to witness firsthand the broken-wing ruse they employ to lead potential threats away from their young. First he got as close to the vehicle as he dared, perhaps thirty feet or so. Then he extended and began dragging his right wing, slowly moving away from me and from the other Killdeers.
When I didn't immediately follow, he began dragging one foot as well, hopping along and emitting rather shrill "dee-dee-dee." And watching me all the while.
I doubt they had any nests nearby at this time of the year, but I let myself be led away from the rest of the birds to keep from spooking and flushing the entire flock.
On a related note, I just learned that a group of Killdeers is called a "season."
There is a season! Turn, turn, turn...
For some much more professional bird photos, check out Bird Photography Weekly #11.