Dikkop Kiewiet / Spotted Thick-knee

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Faerie (November 17, 2011, 15:01:38 PM):
I've got a pair breeding on my pavement! In spite of the fact that I have three cats prowling the boundaries of my house, this pair deemed my pavement a good spot to lay their eggs. The cats proved to be a lot of cowards though, and was chased back into the yard with much flapping and screetching, much to my satisfaction (I love my cats, but they do have that nasty hunter's instinct which detracts from their overall cuteness).

Last night my S/O was misting them with the hose-pipe as they sat on their eggs, and they just parked off there gloriously soaking up the coolness of the water with their eyes closed. They've now stopping chasing the cars as we drive in out out of the yard but still gives it a suspicious look.

I'm so excited and cant wait to see the chicks which should be due in the next two weeks or so.

The species hunts exclusively on the ground, feeding on insects, small mammals and lizards. It also nests on the ground, lining a scrape with grasses, feathers, pebbles and twigs. The female typically lays two eggs, and males and females rear offspring together, with both bringing food back to the nest. The birds will even fake injuries to lead predators away from the nest. [1]

JoanA Arc (November 18, 2011, 08:31:32 AM):
That's amazing, and awesome! I don't blame your cats for giving them a wide berth though. Smart kittehs. I hope that the babies can grow to full adulthood, my concern would be the traffic. Not everyone gives a shyte about Mother Nature and her children trying to make a living alongside humans.
GCG (November 18, 2011, 09:22:43 AM):
having had the pleasure of a semi-farm upbringing, i always ended up with a nest that i espied. i would pick up the eggs, tap them, and when the chicks are close to hatching, the would peep inside, and scratch the inside of the shell with their claws. it was too cute for words.
and, without fail, they would hatch on a sunday, so after the drudgery of sunday school, i would head out to the nest, and there would be a chick just hatched, or a shell with a little hole in.
the birds were pissed that i was handling their babies, but they allways took them back. even if i picked them up, and took them home to show my dad. they are tooooooo damn cute. all legs.
you must take pics.
Rigil Kent (November 19, 2011, 11:57:09 AM):
Sweet. :) Almost every year at primary school there was a pair of crowned plovers nesting on the rugby field. Perhaps "nesting" is too strong a word, unless a nest is merely the spot where two eggs happen to be. Rugby was still a seasonal sport back then, and luckily it seldom coincided with the breeding season. Luckily, because the four house bricks that the superintended ritually placed around the eggs as a safeguard against tractor mowers and tiny shoes could well have affected the willingness of the onder veertien A's to tackle with wild abandon.

Must agree ... please post picktchas as the drama unfolds! 8)

Peter Grant (November 19, 2011, 14:56:01 PM):
There is a breeding pair nesting in our yard as well. Aggressive little things, and very noisy at night. Here's a recording of the sounds they make.


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