If it spots a predator nearby, the Kildeer parent will pretend it has a broken wing – yelling loudly and limping along as it stretches out one wing and fans its tail. This is BirdNote. This is a killdeer, one of the most widespread and commonly seen shorebirds in North America.
Such pretenses of injury are particularly well known in nesting waders and plovers, but have also been documented in other species including snowy owls, the alpine accent and the mourning dove. Hindered flight indicators may also indicate an injured wing, but with an airborne indicator.
It pretended to be hurt and vulnerable to lure me, a supposed predator, away from its nest hidden under the overhanging bank. This behavior is known as feigning injury or distraction display – a ploy designed to distract the predator from eggs or chicks.
Feign injury to distract predators
Once the quail is certain the predator is far enough away from the nest, it will simply flee and land in a tree to avoid the predator . This behavior is observed in a large number of ground-nesting birds.
Why a bird with a broken wing might not be what it seems. Some species feign injury to protect their nests from predators – a behavior more common than previously thought, new research shows.
If you see a smaller, long-legged bird darting about with what appears to be a broken wing, and the bird is also calling out loudly as if in pain, don’t worry. It’s probably a Killdeer.
Sometimes a seagull loses a leg to a pelagic fish while sitting on the sea surface. Sometimes they fake this injury to gain sympathy. You are nothing but adaptable.
For example, Killdeer will make a scratch on the ground where they lay their eggs. Their eggs are speckled, and the birds add items such as shells, sticks, and pebbles to the nest to help the eggs blend in better. This makes them better camouflaged and much harder for predators to see.
Killdeer take their name from the shrill, plaintive killdeer call they so often make. 18th-century naturalists also noted how noisy killdeers are, giving them names like Chattering Plover and Noisy Plover. Gravel roofs attract Killdeer to nest but can be dangerous places to raise a brood.
If you can determine with certainty that your pet’s limping or other feigned injury has no medical cause, your dog is likely feigning pain and injury for one reason or another in order to gain attention and sympathy. In all cases, their ability to fake an injury is a fully learned behavior and eventually becomes a habit.
Although killdeer, a species of plover found along water and inland, is not endangered, they are protected in the United States under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Relocating the nest would require federal government approval.
Pover, one of the numerous species of thick-breasted birds in the wader family Charadriidae (order Charadriiformes). There are about three dozen species of plover, 15 to 30 centimeters long, with long wings, moderately long legs, short necks, and straight bills shorter than their heads.
Bobwhite are small quails with rounded bodies, small heads, rounded wings and short tails.
Take the quail to a veterinarian if their injuries are life-threatening. In serious cases, you cannot provide adequate care at home and you should quickly take the wounded quail to a veterinarian. Avian vets are probably the most experienced when it comes to treating birds. Search online for an avian vet near you.