By Gene Stratton-Porter
The killdeer nest was in the middle of a cornfield. It was not much to boast of. The four tan-colored eggs sprinkled with dark brown and black lay on the bare earth surrounded by a few bits of bark and cornstalk. The mother bird was young and extremely shy and nervous, and , though I dreamed of having her perch on my hand like other killdeers I have known, it was only with the greatest difficulty that I was able to take a picture even of the young birds.
After a week or so of patient waiting I was compelled to miss one day's visit to the nest and when I went back it was deserted. Before I could decide whether or not there had been a tragedy I heard a faint cry which I recognized as that of one of the young birds. We gave chase, my daughter and I and finally, breathless, hot and disheveled, secured a picture of him as he mounted a rock.
He was the quaintest baby bird I have ever handled, with his downy black and white, pink and tan suit, his slender beak, his long legs and the big prominent eyes which showed plainly that he was able to fly by night as well as day.