Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Herons, Killdeers and Update on Noble

This morning, while I was in Lily's paddock, a Great Blue Heron flew overhead.  They seem to me to be an unlikely combination of gawky and elegant - long legs trailing, neck folded back and wings that seem to carry them along at surprising speed, despite the leisurely beat.

The Killdeers are back in force, raucously seeking mates and nesting sites.  I was amused to see that part of their species name is "vociferus".  They like to nest in bare areas where they can scrape out a nesting depression.  When they're on the nest, the bird's camouflage is excellent, and when a parent leaves the nest, the eggs are almost impossible to see against a background of dirt and stones.  The parents also do a wonderful "broken wing" display.  Since they like these sorts of nesting sites, we end up with nests in the outdoor arena, paddocks, areas near the gates of our grass pastures, and even in the community garden!  When the eggs hatch, the young, being precocial, are tiny miniatures of the adults, and are up and running within hours.  The parents shepherd them around as they are learning to fend for themselves.

Noble seems to be doing a little bit better.  He is still very sore and stiff, and went to turnout with short, slow steps, and came in the same way.  He doesn't seem as uncomfortable - no head-bobbing or pawing - and he was able to move off into the dry lot, albeit slowly and with care.  He didn't lie down last night in his stall (no bedding on his coat) and didn't roll yesterday in the dry lot, or this morning when I turned him out - he usually does.  So he's worried about lying down - probably not sure he could get up again.  I'll have to keep an eye on this - but at least he seems to be a bit less uncomfortable.

1 comment:

  1. We've had killdeer also nesting before in our pastures,babies are so cute. Glad to see Noble is doing better.


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