Charadrius vociferus




Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff with brown marks.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

24 - 28

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Unlined or lined with pebbles, grass, and twigs.





Killdeer: Large, lanky plover with brown upperparts, white underparts, and two distinct black bands cross the upper breast. White stripes on long wings and rufous rump are visible in flight. Face is brown and marked with black and white patches. Sexes are similar except female usually has a browner mask and breast bands. Juvenile is like adult but has single breast band and lacks rufous rump. Diet consists primarily of invertebrates such as earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles, and snails. Flight is very fast, with rapid and strong wingbeats.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Killdeer: These birds are monogamous. Breeding pairs form in the breeding grounds in the spring. Three to five buff eggs with brown markings are laid in a shallow ground depression lined with grass in gravelly areas, natural fields, golf courses, lawns, beaches, rooftops or even parking lots. Incubation takes 24 to 28 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Killdeer: Their diet includes terrestrial invertebrates, especially earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles and snails; infrequently they also eat small vertebrates and seeds. They forage in the open, with sparse or no vegetative cover, or in short mowed grass, on mudflats and in shallow water. They drink readily from standing or running water, especially after eating.


Killdeer: Emits a loud cry "kill-dee" or "kill-deear" or "kill-deeah-dee-dee"." Also makes a long, trilled "trrrrr" during display or when young are threatened.

Similar Species

Killdeer: Semipalmated Plover is smaller and has a single breast band. Wilson's Plover is smaller, has a single breast band, and plain brown back, rump, and tail.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
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