Saturday, May 16, 2009

Luverly of the Week: Killdeer {Charadrius vociferus}

Killdeers are such nifty little birds. Heh, they are quite odd looking with their spindly little legs, and their call is quite comical as well.

We had quite the lot in the field behind our apartment, before they were driven over by the disgusting developers. It was the height of nesting season, and they nest on the ground. A whole bunch just scattered and we didn't see much of them for the rest of the year. You can read about the whole thing here.

But, thanks either to the Genii Loci or the economy (or both!) the property is not to be developed for some time, and the Killdeers are back.

You can find some Killdeer calls to listen to here and here.




Spirit Walk Ministry said...

I work a lot with animal spirit guides, but I was not familiar with the killdeer until I read your blog post.

What an amazing creature! This is an animal that you can definitely learn from.

This is an excerpt form an article I found on the killdeer.

The killdeer's broken-wing display
You sometimes see an adult killdeer in gravel, such as along a rocky railroad easement, or on a dirt road. As you approach, the killdeer may suddenly develop a broken wing. It struggles in front of you, as if it can barely walk, let alone fly. One or both wings drag pitifully on the ground.
If your instinct to rescue the killdeer overcomes you, and you try to catch the bird, it almost lets you reach out and pick it up. But somehow, while struggling to keep its balance, the killdeer manages to stay one step ahead of you. As you pursue it, the killdeer leads you farther and farther away from its four downy killdeer babies crouching on the ground or half hidden under a tiny bush.
When the killdeer feels that the young are safe from you, its broken wing heals suddenly, and the bird flies away, calling a loud "KILL-DEE" that sounds like a jeer.

nefaeria said...

Hey thanks for the links and the information! I had heard that they pretended to have broken wings, but have never seen it for myself.

Neat to see that you work with animal guides! I could definitely see it being a helpful teacher in creative defense, and for those who need help from a trickster. ;)

What type of lessons would you see coming from the Killdeer?

Dawn R. Jackson said...

Ha, this bird behaves just like the lapwing which figures prominently in the traditions of 1734 and Robert Cochrane. The term is used when you you are seeking information that will further you upon your path, and the lapwing takes you away from that knowledge or gnosis.

There is a trinity of animals that Robert Graves writes about in his book the White Goddess (which is core foundational material for the traditions I wrote of above), the Hound, the Roebuck and the Lapwing -- they are all associated with the secrets that lie in the thicket, the secrets we seek that will afford us wisdom.

But, on the other hand, lapwinging, as in being led around the secret, the eggs of gnosis in the nest as it were, can also be beneficial in the information one gains.

In my own searching and seeking I've been lapwinged several times, but I found great benefit and use of the material I did collect while on the journey with the lapwing :)

Marvelous post, I am off to listen to the sounds now!

Spirit Walk Ministry said...

It is very interesting that Dawn mentioned Robert Graves, because it brought to mind an association that I would not have thought of.

Robert Graves is probably best known for his book “I Claudius”, which was about the Roman emperor Claudius I.

The grandson of Augustus and the nephew of the emperor Tiberius, Claudius was always under the eminent threat of death amongst the plots and schemes of the Roman political establishment.

Claudius was born lame and suffered from a stammer and as such he was considered a fool and not worthy of notice. Claudius realized this and exaggerated his limb and stammer, putting forth the image of a fool who was of no threat to anyone. While hundreds were assassinated and executed in the political intrigues, Claudius was able to limp his way through life and became emperor. He turned out to be not a fool, but one of the most enlightened of all the Roman rulers.

I guess that would be a good example of using the “broken wing”.

nefaeria said...


Yes, lapwings! From what I gather they are both in the lover family, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

Even though the lore may come from a different place, I do really like the idea of working with an animal that might have a similar lesson, but that is also a little more local. Something to investigate further I suppose.

That is a fantastic outlook (in regards to your own lapwinging adventures) to have, and a great reminder when one gets frustrated whilst seeking. Thanks for sharing! :)

perma_culture said...

Cool bird! =^)

Bird of Paradise said...

Where i live youll often see them circling overhead calling loudly

Birdzilla said...

Where i live you can often see them with AMERICAN ROBINS and BLACKBIRDS hunting for insects on our high school football field