Students kicked off part of Litchfield playground after engandered birds lay eggs.
Kindergarten students and a paraprofessional noticed the two birds hovering in the area on Monday and spotted the two speckled eggs. As a precaution against disturbing the eggs, Principal Scott Thompson kept students inside during recess on Monday. The school also contacted the state Fish and Game Department and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
According to Becky Suomala, a biologist with the Audubon Society, killdeer are very common in New Hampshire, and they are not endangered or threatened. Even so, Suomala stressed, they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, meaning the law prevents their nests from being disturbed.
"They like to nest on open, flat ground such as construction sites, farm fields and roofs," she said. "They seem to be fairly tolerant of disturbance, but you cannot move the nest to a different location."
"Hopefully the birds will adapt to the activity there. If they don't, they could abandon the eggs if it isn't adaptable," she said.
If the nesting is successful, there is a chance the two adult birds will return next year to lay their eggs in the same location or nearby, Suomala said.
"We have warned the students to be respectful and careful. We realize it is difficult though, as these eggs are right out there in the open," Thompson said.