(Photo by Kevin Sonney)
When Kevin and I were in New Orleans a month or so ago, we were out birding and encountered this killdeer in a parking lot. It immediately set about convincing Kevin that its wing was broken. Really broken. SO BROKEN YOU GUYS.
Killdeer are, of course, justly famous for this trick. They do it to lure predators away from the nest. Kevin ambled after the bird with a camera and I watched them do a slow motion chase scene across the parking lot.
Eventually, having taken about a million photos, Kevin stopped. But the killdeer did not. There were four of us, but Kevin, rescuer of kittens, was clearly the menace. It was practically charging him waving its “broken” wing.
Kevin: No, I’m done, it’s okay.
Killdeer: MY WING IS SUPER BROKEN
Kevin: I have no interest in your nest.
Killdeer: THIS WING, RIGHT HERE? I BROKE IT IN THE WAR. TWO WARS. SEVEN WARS. SO MANY WARS.
Kevin: I’m starting to feel weird about this, bird.
Killdeer: AAUGH LOOK NOW MY OTHER WING IS BROKEN TOO
Killdeer: I WILL RUN A LITTLE WAY AND FALL OVER WAVING MY BROKEN WINGS THE PAIN THE PAIN
Kevin: I’m not going to chase you.
Killdeer: YOU HAVE TO CHASE ME MY WINGS ARE BROKEN ALSO I BELIEVE MY LEGS ARE GOING
Kevin: This is just sad.
Killdeer: I BELIEVE I AM ALSO ON FIRE
Kevin: You’re still going.
Killdeer: THERE IS NO PAIN LIKE THIS PAIN PLEASE STEP A LITTLE FARTHER THIS WAY I AM SURELY ABOUT TO BE CAUGHT AT ANY MOMENT
Kevin: Fine, if it’ll make you happy.
(Kevin ambles after Killdeer)
Killdeer: JUST A LITTLE FARTHER…A LITTLE BIT FARTHER AND SURELY I WILL STOP RUNNING AWAY DID I MENTION THAT MY WINGS ARE SUPER-BROKEN?!
(Kevin, camera in hand, stumbles onto a group of King Rail chicks in the ditch)
Rail Chicks: AAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHHMONSTER
Kildeer: AHAHA DEVOUR THEM, MY ENEMY, WHILE I FLEE BACK TO MY CHILDREN ON MY MAGICALLY HEALED WINGS
Kevin: …that bird is a jerk.