Poetry Sunday: The Killdeer Chick by Richard Owen

I came across this poem a few days ago and it reminded me of several encounters I've had with Killdeer over the years. I am very familiar with their desperate act of dragging the seemingly broken wing to lure me to follow. And I follow, pretending I never saw their two precious chicks hiding there in the grass.

The Kildeer Chick 

by Richard Owen

Each time we drive our grassy road, the kildeer tries 

To lead us from her nearby nest. She drags her wing 

And calls. She's easy prey, we could not resist 

If we were fox or badger. As it is, 

We are a monstrous iron thing, a truck 

That goes its way unthinking, unaware.

I saw a movement and I stopped, got out. Beside the wheel 

A tiny bit of fluff, so close it should be crushed.

I picked it up, and it was live in my hands, 

I put it down. It ran towards mother's desperate cries.

A tiny bit of grace it was. For once,

The beauty of the world 

Was spared from us.


  1. I too have played their game many times. Pretty dedicated protective parenting, huh?

  2. I remember years ago, when I lived in Arkansas; we were crossing a grassy vacant lot as a shortcut and saw this act. Not sure it was a killdeer but it sure was memorable. Loved this poem.

  3. You are the perfect person, Dorothy, to share nature poems with us. I hope you will find more and continue to share them.

  4. I have not seen the bird's deceptive act but it seems like a great ploy. Thanks for the poem.


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