Will Killdeer abandon their eggs?

Answered by Cody Janus

Will Killdeer Abandon Their Eggs?

As an expert, I can confidently say that Killdeer are known for their remarkable devotion to sitting on their eggs, even in the most challenging weather conditions. They are resilient and will do whatever it takes to protect and care for their eggs. However, there are certain circumstances where they may abandon their eggs and start anew.

One such circumstance is if the eggs have been submerged underwater for an extended period, typically more than a few minutes. If the nest becomes flooded or submerged, the eggs can become non-viable. Killdeer eggs are not designed to withstand prolonged exposure to water, and as a result, the embryos inside may not survive.

In such cases, the Killdeer parents are likely to abandon the nest and seek out a new location to lay their eggs. This behavior is driven by their instinct to ensure the best chance of successfully hatching and raising their young. They will start the nesting process again, finding a suitable site and constructing a new nest.

It’s important to note that Killdeer are migratory birds, and their breeding season typically occurs from spring to early summer. During this time, they will build nests and lay eggs, which they will diligently incubate for about 24-28 days. If their nesting attempts are unsuccessful, they may make another attempt later in the season or even in subsequent years.

In my personal experience observing Killdeer, I have witnessed their determination to care for their eggs. I have seen them endure harsh weather conditions, including heavy rains and storms, while still remaining committed to their nests. However, I have also seen instances where their nests have been flooded, leading to abandonment.

While Killdeer are known for their dedication to sitting on their eggs, they may abandon their nests if the eggs have been underwater for an extended period. This behavior is driven by their instinct to ensure the survival of their offspring. If this occurs, they will likely find a new location to lay their eggs and start the nesting process again.