A few days ago, I was reminded of the upcoming Mother's Day by a Killdeer sitting on her nest. The Killdeer is a shore bird who has been misplaced by over development, so they find homes farther inland, like our retention pond. She was just off the walking path, in plain view on the mulch surrounding a small tree, less than 4 feet from me. I walked slowly past her, she not moving a feather, and I said softly, "good morning."
The next day as I approached the nest from a distance, I saw three little chicks scurrying about in a panic. I'd done a little research to find out killdeer chicks are "precocial" which means "ripened beforehand." They know the meaning of "hit the ground running." The same root gives us the word "precocious", the meaning of which every mom knows.
As I got closer, I noticed mama was on the left side of the path, while the chicks were squawking, as if looking for their heads, on the right. I didn't want to scare them more, yet I still wanted to resume my walk, and not get a peck on the head from mama. She gave me the "broken wing" act, trying to draw me away from her chicks. I slowly circled reasonably far away from the chicks, keeping one eye on her beak. As I passed by the four of them, mama seemed to chirp curse at her three babies for straying. They came together, one behind the other, and she led the way into the bushes, screeching at them the whole way.
It's always nice to see a mother who cares.
So all you good moms on my list who care: Happy Mother's Day!
For the rest of you, who were precocious some or most of the time, tell her thanks for caring.