Feb 112012

A relatively new bird keeper was preparing to clean the free-flight area and had been warned to be careful of the black-and-white plovers that were sitting on eggs. She set her bucket down just inside the railing and climbed carefully into the exhibit. The plovers immediately began flapping around and vocalizing excitedly. From their reaction, the keeper knew that the nest had to be nearby but she couldn’t find it.

The birds were growing more agitated by the minute but the keeper was reluctant to move until she knew where the nest was for fear of stepping on it. Finally, the birds’ distress reached the point that she had to do something. She decided to move slowly away, placing each foot carefully.
When she picked up the bucket she discovered why she had been unable to find the nest. Underneath the bucket was the remains of the plovers’ nest and its clutch of eggs—all smashed.

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