A Killdeer Baby Hunts for Worms, 07-29-18

I went over to the Cosumnes River Preserve hoping to see better examples of wasp galls there and was very disappointed. I found a few, but not nearly as many as I feel there should be this time of year. With 99% of the water gone from the preserve, there wasn’t a lot of anything to see…

There was still a bit of still a bit of shallow muddy water in the slough that ran alongside the road, and around there I was able to find a Killdeer mama and her two chicks. The babies were hunting for bugs and pulling worms up out of the water while mama stood guard. Some of the worms the babies found were longer than the chicks were tall, so the babies would yank them up as far as they could and then gobble the worms up before they had a chance to escape underground again. At one point, both babies rushed over to mom and snuggled under her feathers to warm themselves up a bit before they went scavenging again.

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

CLICK HERE for another video snippet.

I also saw some tiny jumpy frogs and several crayfish interacting with one another in their slow-moving way. It looked like some of the crayfish had tried building chimneys in the mud, but it was too wet, so the structures collapsed in on themselves.

Even in crappy-looking habitat, Nature seeks to survive.

Posted by

Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.