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Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus
The Killdeer is a medium-size Plover with a brown back and wings, light colored underside, and two black rings around the neck. Some populations are found year-round in many areas of the United States and Mexico, while other migrate between Canada and Central and South America. And though they are in fact shorebirds, they can be found in open areas both near and far away from water.

Killdeer build their nests by scraping away at the ground and creating a small depression. They lay 4-6 eggs at a time, which are speckled and resemble rocks. Because these nests are so vulnerable, the parents have tactics that they use to keep predators and threats away. For example, if a predator comes near, the parents will put on a broken wing act, making themselves look injured to distract from the eggs. They also have a trick to keep large animals (like livestock) from stepping on their nests. The adults puff up their feathers and tails and charge at the larger animal in an attempt to make it move away.

Young Killdeer are precocious, and are up and running as soon as their feathers dry after hatching. Parents are monogamous and may raise more than one brood a year, but they do not typically mate for life.

Killdeer are named for the shrill "kill deer" sounding call that they make.



IUCN Status :  Least Concern
Location : Western Hemisphere
Size : Length 10in (25cm), Wingspan 18in (46cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Charadriidae -- Genus : Charadrius -- Species : C. vociferus

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