Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 16, 2017

Kepler Finds Killdeer Eggs

(3 Minute Read)

Kepler

Woof! Woof! This is Kepler again, Master’s Parson (Jack) Russell terrier. I’m writing another article for Master’s blog.

Master is the BibleScienceGuy, and he asked me to tell about finding bird eggs four different times on our camping trips this year. Today I will tell you about the first time we found eggs.

Master says folks like the way I think and like to hear what I have to say about things, so here goes with my take on eggs.

I LOVE eggs, absolutely LOVE them! I try to get as many as I can, as often as I can, as soon as I can — raw, semi-cooked, or cooked, they’re all good!

Killdeer Eggs

On a recent hike with Master, we came across a killdeer squawking and hobbling away as if its wing were broken.

Master said there must be a nest nearby, and we soon found it with four eggs. He said it was standard killdeer behavior for the bird to try to distract a potential predator by staggering away from the nest as if hurt.

I was overjoyed to see the eggs, thinking I was going to get a really big treat. But Master would not let me have them! I couldn’t believe it.

Master said we have to let the eggs hatch into baby birds. But I said, “Let’s leave one egg to hatch, and I’ll eat three.” Didn’t fly with Master.

“How about if I eat only two and leave two to hatch?” Still didn’t fly.

Finally, I quite reasonably said, “Well, I’ll settle for eating one, and three can hatch.” Master just said, “Heel.”

Killdeer Eggs

Unfortunately, I have no bargaining power with Master. All I can do is ask and beg. He holds all the power, and he would not grant me any of the eggs lying right there on the ground, free for the taking. They were FREE, but he just walked away from them.

Here is a picture of the killdeer eggs that I wanted so badly. Notice how the Creator provided killdeer eggs with camouflage to hide them while lying on the ground. We could hardly see them in the open field; they looked so much like small stones.

Also observe how pointed one end is. The reason for this is so that the eggs pivot on their small pointed end instead of rolling away from the nest. Birds like robins, which lay their eggs in bowl-shaped nests up in trees, lay eggs that are more rounded in shape. It doesn’t matter if they roll around in their nest.

Killdeer

I was puzzled by the name “killdeer” for the robin-sized bird. It didn’t look like it could kill a deer. Here’s a picture of the killdeer we encountered in the field. Does it look like it could kill a deer to you?

I asked Master about the bird’s puzzling name. He explained that its name comes from how its call sounds. I thought that was kind of strange. I’m called a dog or a Jack Russell terrier, not a “bark” or a “woof” or an “arf.”

Master told me that the first killdeer nest he saw was on an infield between first base and the pitcher’s mound on a softball field, early one April many years ago, long before I was born. The killdeer did not appreciate his team’s practice session, but the nest and eggs survived intact.

Master said killdeers are precocial. That was a new word for me. It’s related to the word precocious that is often used to describe extra-smart human children.

I asked Master if I was precocious. He laughed and said, “Very much so. Not many dogs would have learned so young how to write articles for my blog.”

Precocial birds hatch fully feathered, able to see and forage for food minutes after hatching. Chickens, ducks, and quail are also precocial.

Birds that hatch naked, blind, and helpless are called altricial. Robins, blue jays, cardinals, bluebirds, and most common birds are altricial. Their parents have to bring food and shove it down their throats for them to survive. It takes altricial birds two weeks or more to mature to the point of being able to leave their nest.

Precocial birds develop in the egg twice as long as altricial birds. A one-day-old killdeer hatchling is really two weeks older than a one-day-old robin hatchling when egg-time is included. Adult robins and killdeers are the same size, but a killdeer’s egg is twice as big as a robin’s egg because the killdeer egg contains more nourishment to sustain the developing killdeer for twice as long in the egg.

At this point I told Master, “That’s more than I ever wanted to know about precocial and altricial birds. I just want to eat their eggs, either precocial or altricial, doesn’t matter.”

To be honest, I have to admit that every once in a while, Master does mix an egg into my food bowl. But I want him to do it every day. However, he tells me to be content with what I’m given. I find that very difficult. Master says I’m no different in that way from most people — who also find it hard to be content.

Master told me that just like Jesus told soldiers to be content with their wages (Luke 3:14), so I should be content with whatever food he gives me daily. He reminded me of this instruction from the Apostle Paul:
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:7-9 NASB)

So that’s how things look from the Dog House! Next time I write, I will tell about finding a nest full of robin eggs.

Till next time, this is Kepler signing off. Woof! Woof!

Questions to Ponder

1. Why did the Creator make humans altricial instead of precocial?
2. Do you find it hard to be content with what the Creator has given you or with where He has placed you?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 18th article in a series of blog posts on a precocious Jack Russell terrier named Kepler. Numbers 1-8 are by Kepler’s master, the BibleScienceGuy. Numbers 9-18 are by Kepler himself.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies

The following posts are by Kepler:
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel (with video)
12. Kepler’s Complaint
13. Kepler’s To-Do List
14. Kepler and the Football Weekend
15. Kepler’s Favorite Store
16. Kepler at a Truck Stop
17. Kepler & Henry Catch a Squirrel

Read the sequel:
19. Kepler Finds Robin Eggs

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See the Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 16, 2017 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)


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