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Tiny Bird inspires ACMS students to never give up

Tony Durbin, custodian at Adair County Middle School knew he had to do something quickly for a special bird.
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By Alan Reed
News from Adair Co. Middle School, Adair County School District

For several successive days, Tony Durbin had noticed a long-legged bird holding her ground against the morning and afternoon barrage of cars and buses on the congested drive in front of the school.


On the morning of Tuesday, May 10, 2011, Tony observed the bird in a "sort of crouched position" at the blacktop's edge at the front parking spaces. Thinking the bird may have been injured, he decided to yield a helping hand. As he approached the bird, it was clear to Tony that he was intentionally being lured away.

Tony Durbin had discovered a Killdeer nest in the "no-man's land" of hard gravel---where grass meets hot blacktop and danger from traffic is ever present. Using chairs and yellow police tape, he quickly improvised a "safe zone" for the Killdeer and her clutch.

"It takes nearly four weeks for the eggs to hatch," said Tony. "I hope the kids and parents will enjoy watching what happens."

Young Killdeer are ready to run along with their parents very quickly after hatching. The birds are providing therapeutic relief for teachers and students during the rigorous days of state testing at the school. -Alan Reed


This story was posted on 2011-05-13 11:10:02
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Birds of Kentucky: Killdeer Clutch of Eggs



2011-05-13 - ACMS, 322 John Adair DR, Columbia, KY - Photo by Alan Reed.
Killdeer are one of the few bird species in Kentucky that nest on open ground, often on gravel. The birds form a barely noticeable depression in the gravel to hold the eggs and only line the nest with a few stones. The speckled eggs themselves are well camouflaged to look like stones. "You have to stare hard to see them," says Tony Durbin.

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Birds of Kentucky: Tony Durbin runs bird protection line



2011-05-13 - ACMS, 322 John Adair DR, Columbia, KY - Photo by Alan Reed.
Killdeer are tolerant of humans. Cars, buses and people pass the Killdeer nest every day. Tony Durbin, above hopes his improvised signage will improve the chances for the parents and potential offspring.

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Birds of Kentucky: Mother Killdeer at ACMS



2011-05-13 - ACMS, 322 John Adair DR, Columbia, KY - Photo by Alan Reed.
The nesting Killdeer at John Adair Middle School (foreground). She is a tiny yet determined presence in a dangerous world of big tires and heavy metal.

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Birds of Kentucky: A brave mother Killdeer



2011-05-13 - ACMS, 322 John Adair DR, Columbia, KY - Photo by Alan Reed.
The lovely photo shows the female killdeer on the "nest" which is little more than a slight depression in the gravel. Her clutch of eggs is cryptically colored.

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