Church members protect bird nests on property

Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 18:24:10-04

Jason Ash became the pastor at Forest Glade Baptist Church back in 2011, and he's been dealing with killdeer ever since.

During the summer, these tiny birds make their presence even more known. They turn the church's parking lot into their nesting ground. 

"It's mainly just gravel. They lay them right in the middle of the gravel," Ash said. "So, a lot of times we find them after they've been run over and it's unfortunate."

Ash and the other church members have been marking the nests to try and protect the eggs. When they see a nest pop up, they mark it with a flag or place a folding chair over it to let others know what areas to look out for.

Right now, the lot is clear, but Ash expects that to change soon.

"I guarantee you, we're going to see more," Ash said.

The killdeer is similar to a sandpiper. Its relative, the black-necked stilt, can also be seen at the Cameron Park Zoo.

Cameron Park Zoo Animal Care Supervisor Shawn Styrcula said these birds are known for building a nest called a scrape. 

"It's a little, shallow bowl in the ground," Styrcula said. "The killdeer itself will bring in shells, rocks and sticks to kind of decorate that bowl."

Styrcula said these birds don't have the ability to nest in trees.

"They are designed to make it in that shallow bowl," Styrcula said. 

While the killdeer isn't an endangered species, Styrcula said it's nice to know these church members are stepping in to help keep it safe.

"It's great that they have taken an interest in these birds and are wanting to try and protect them and see that their young are able to grow up," Styrcula said. 

Ash said they will continue to be good neighbors for the years to come.

"They are very good for the environment they eat beetles, millipedes, spiders," Ash said. "These birds are awesome."

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