Utility Workers Guard Tiny Bird Nesting In South Carolina Parking Lot

“It’s just another way we’re helping to keep the Lowcountry beautiful.”

Killdeer parking lot

Micah Ponce/Berkeley Electric Cooperative

A small bird has been given VIP (very important plover) status by the employees of a South Carolina energy company after it decided to build its nest in the middle of their parking lot.  

Somehow, utility workers at Berkeley Electric Cooperative in Johns Island recently managed to spot a well-camouflaged killdeer nesting in the gravel parking lot. Recognizing how easy it was to overlook the tiny bird, they placed a perimeter of orange traffic cones around it to keep it safe. 

“It pays to keep an eye peeled while driving,” Berkeley Electric Cooperative wrote on Facebook alongside photos of the highly protected nest.

According to the American Bird Conservancy, the killdeer is the most widespread North American plover species. Its breeding season occurs from mid-March to August, laying clutches of four to six eggs in shallow depressions, or scrapes, in the ground. Parents typically incubate the eggs for 22 to 28 days. 

“Normally a shorebird, the killdeer will scratch out a shallow nest in open ground, usually around water,” the energy company noted. It is unclear why this particular killdeer decided to make its nest so far from the shoreline, but it’s not our place to judge. It is, however, our place to protect.

Federal law prohibits the removal of protected migratory bird species without prior authorization by the Department of Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, meaning Berkeley Electric Cooperative couldn’t have moved the nest even if they wanted to.

And they don’t want to. 

“The nest can’t be moved due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act so our crews made sure it was safe and sound until the eggs hatch in a few weeks,” the company’s Facebook post concludes. “It’s just another way we’re helping to keep the Lowcountry beautiful.”

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