Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4

KILL

Code 6

CHAVOC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Killdeer is rated as Least Concern. The previous rating for the Killdeer was Lower Risk. That rating was downgraded in 2004 to Least Concern due to the stability of the range and population of this bird species. This bird species is native to South America and the Caribbean. The range of the Killdeer is large, reaching up to 14 million square kilometers. The population of the Killdeer is about 1 million individuals at this time. There are not any known threats facing the range or the population of the Killdeer presently.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Killdeer: This large banded plover has brown upperparts, white underparts, two distinct black bands cross upper breast and white stripes on the wings that are visible in flight. The tail and rump show rust-brown in flight. It has a black bill, pink-brown legs and feet. Feeds primarily on insects. It has a wavering, erratic flight; capable of swift direct flight. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Killdeer: Breeds from southern Alaska east across Canada to Newfoundland and southward. Spends winters north to British Columbia, Utah, the Ohio Valley, and Massachusetts; also found in South America. Preferred habitats include open areas such as plowed fields, golf courses, and short-grass prairies.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kill-dee", "kill-deear", "kill-deeah-dee-dee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Killdeer exhibit a clever "broken wing display" in which they appear to be struggling with a broken wing while leading the predator away from their babies.
  • Although technically shorebirds, they are unusual in this group because they often nest and live far from water.
  • They are ground-nesting birds that are famous for hiding their nests right out in the open. They really use no nesting materials and rely on distraction displays to protect their offspring.
  • A group of killdeers are collectively known as a "season" of killdeers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Killdeer

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Imran Kahn

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X