Killdeer is a plover who was once known as a Chattering Plover and/or Noisy Plover because of the very vocal nature of this species.
Technically a shorebird, Killdeer are often found away from shores as well as near them, frequenting mudflats, gravel bars, gravel roads etc. The southern population are residents year-round, they like to do a great deal of socializing, calling and foraging and today they were mating.
|It was quite early when I spotted this fellow which was soon joined by another. I was mesmerized when I realized that courtship was taking place.|
|The male hopped onto the female's back, assuming a half-crouched position.|
|His feet seem to slide down gradually between female's drooping wings and her body.|
|The female rhythmically pumps her tail and body against those of male, eventually bringing dorsal surface of her tail and body against ventral surface of male's tail and body.|
|The male then slips off the side of female, twisting his tail and fluttering briefly to bring his cloaca into momentary contact with her cloaca.|
|It is said that pairs often copulate 2 times in succession which would explain the length of time that they took to seal the deal.|
|Killdeer are monogamous and copulate regularly during incubation. Some pairs remain together and defend their territory year around.|
|The pair parted and soon left the area silently.|
|What a treat to be a witness to such a loving moment!|
Information about mating was gathered from www.BNA.birds.cornell.edu - if you are a member of e-bird you can subscribe to this fantastic website for 25.00/year - each species described in lengthy details - a priceless investment.