The widespread Killdeer usually nests in agricultural areas, but it tolerates many habitats with stony substrate – from gravel bars in rivers, to urban rooftops, to driveways.
In winter Killdeer form flocks in farm fields. As its scientific name indicates, this “vociferous” species calls frequently. Nesting birds perform elaborate “broken-wing” distraction displays when the nest is approached too closely.
VOICE Calls loud and insistent:deee,dee,dee,dee,kill-DEEEAR, and a rolling chatter.
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.
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