KILLDEER


Charadrius vociferus


Description:

The Killdeer's name is also a description of its loud call. Killdeer are the most widespread of all our shorebirds. They nest on everything from gravel shorelines to short grass pastures. To protect its young from predators, the adults become actors and pretend to have an injured wing or leg. The bird then staggers off, thus leading the would-be predator away from the nest. Once they are at a safe distance from the nest, the adult Killdeer discontinues its act and takes off.


Appearance:

Brown upperparts, white underparts. Two black bands around the breast. Long black bill. Large red and black eye. Brown crown. Eye and chin stripes. Long legs. Rusty undertail coverts and rump. Sexes similiar. 9 to 11 inches in length.


Habitat:

Open fields, short grass meadows near water, gravely shorelines.


Nesting:

4 pale buff eggs with black-brown spots. The incubation period is 24-28 days. Fledging occurs 25 days after hatching. The nest is a shallow depression in the ground lined with soft grasses.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Border Field State Park, Imperial Beach
  • San Elijo Lagoon, Cardiff-by-the-Sea
  • Numerous city parks around the county


  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1 | Song #2




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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.