Hatchlings

There’s a trio of waist-high holly bushes on the property that never seem to fill out; never seem to outgrow the term “misshapen.” Over the years we began to realize that all the pruning in the world wouldn’t help them achieve any sort of suburban landscape symmetry. Why? Because the deer do all the trimming, browsing tender leaves and leaving discards all over the front porch. ¬†Earlier this month, we found the hollies supported another life — a tiny cup of tightly woven pine needles bearing three marble sized-eggs. Last night, we discovered the eggs had given way to tiny birds. Blind and almost featherless with their oversized yellow beaks straining upward for motherly fare.

Baby birds in nest.
Cupful of babies — Tiny birds wait on mom to bring some breakfast. Taken June 14, 2015.
Three eggs in a nest.
Three eggs carrying precious life — taken June 6, 2015.

Don’t mess with mama

Killdeers are common on campus at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and by nature are ground nesters. The local populations seem to be partial to nesting in what seem to be the most vulnerable places. This one chose to nest in mulch next to a parking lot curb.

However, don’t under estimate the fierceness of mama birds. They can quickly become mama grizzlies if you get too close. ¬†This killdeer mother was not afraid to protect her brood of three from the Friday Ride Day group that met just feet away.

CHARGE! -- Killdeer lurches toward the photographer who ventured too close to her fuzzy little chicks.
THREE IN THE HOLE -- The heads of mama's three chicks are barely visible in her shadow.
BRAVE ONES -- Two of the chicks explore their world.