Early in the morning before the kids arrived, I was attempting to catch up on paperwork in my portable classroom. Through the ever so thin walls I could hear a million high-pitched squeaking birds, sounds of the sea.
I grabbed my camera out of my purse and rushed outside for what was soon to be my National Geographic photography moment, a million beach birds on the school playground in the middle of the desert.
Here is what I found instead.
Not what I expected, but so amazing. I believe I was witnessing a territorial battle or maybe someone trying to steal a mate. The birds fought on the playground, in the air, and in the desert lot across the street. All day I could hear them outside. I just wanted to stay out there and observe.
The next day, after school, I snapped these photos as I was leaving.
These birds, which seemed so out place at school, are called Killdeer. The only reason why they seemed out place is because I did not know anything about them.
I actually should not be surprised to find Killdeers on the school playground. These shorebirds often don’t hang out on the beach. They like golf courses, sports fields, parking lots, lawns, etc. Schools in Las Vegas are a perfect place for them to make a home. At the back of my school, we have this amazing riparian-like environment that is protected by fencing. It would be neat to carefully explore back there and see if there is a shallow nest in the ground with chicks inside.
As I pay more attention, I am finding nature at school and in the city where we often don’t expect wildlife to survive and thrive.
Learn more about Killdeer at: