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Can killdeer move eggs OR lay extra if some go missing?

11 years ago

I'll start by saying I've read more killdeer information today than the most avid ornithologist and haven't found an answer. But I digress...

We have/had, and have again, a killdeer nest in the middle of our driveway with 4 eggs. Plus, about 5 feet away, there is clearly another empty nest. It's a bit inconvenient but also a bit lucky, so we can straddle it with our vehicles. Of course this also gives us an entertaining "oh, ouch. Look at my broken wings" show from the parents every time we drive in and out or get the mail.

My question in the subject line arises because yesterday, the 4 eggs had become only three. HOWEVER, today, the nest again has 4 eggs!? We don't pay attention to the empty, nearby nest, but could they have moved one egg because we are always bothering them or is it simply that she had one egg in reserve and laid another to replace the lost one?

Also, I spray-painted 4 bricks with bright green landscape paint and made a perimeter around the nest(s) so we remember not to accidentally drive over the spot and alert others that something is up.

The bad news is, I am not hopeful for the survival of this nest because our neighbor has a million cats plus we have an unending parade of raccoons, which I trap almost daily.

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