Killdeer: Large banded plover, brown upperparts and white underparts, two distinct black bands cross upper breast. White stripes on wings are visible in flight. Tail and rump show rust-brown in flight. Black bill, pink-brown legs and feet. Wavering, erratic flight, capable of swift, direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Killdeer: Breeds from Alaska east 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.
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.
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.