Rarely do children ask questions to which adults don’t know the answers. But that’s what happened recently at Doby’s Bridge Elementary School.
A fourth-grade class saw a small group of eggs lying on the ground during recess. Substitute teacher Cindy Carner, who was with the children when they found the eggs, said at first they thought it might have been a bird’s nest.
Carner cordoned off the eggs to keep them protected. Then, upon further inspection they realized the eggs were not like any bird’s eggs they had seen. Doby’s Bridge Elementary Principal Jeanette Black said usually the only type of eggs children this age see are the eggs in their parents’ fridge. These eggs “are sort of rock colored,” Black said.
“The kids were fascinated, they were curious.” Carner said.
The children asked what kind of eggs they were and where they had come from. Carner had no idea. She had never seen these type of eggs either.
To satisfy the kids’ curiosity and her own, Carner and her class came in from recess and went to Google. Google yielded no exact matches, so Carner turned to her father-in-law, Dr. Gerry Carner, a professor of entomology at Clemson University. She described the eggs over text and he identified them as Killdeer eggs.
Killdeer, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, are a type of bird that can be found in fields with little to no vegetation. That’s exactly where the schoolchildren found the eggs. Typically, the birds are brown on top and white below.
“I think it’s important to introduce kids to nature and let them know why it’s important to preserve wildlife,” Carner said. “I think they understand that better the more they witness it first hand.”
The kids were excited to tell Principal Black what they had learned.
“They learned that we need to be respectful of the world we live in and all its creatures. Nature is all around us.” Black said.