Image: Courtesy of fnal.gov (public domain)
Description: The ground-loving Killdeer is the most common and familiar member of the plover family. Even though it is considered a shorebird, the killdeer often nests far from water. It is commonly seen feigning a broken wing, for the purposes of luring predators away from its nest and young. The Killdeer is named for its loud “killdee..killdee” call.
The Killdeer measures about 9 inches in length. It has a brown head with a white stripe above the eye, in front of the bill, and around the neck. The eyes are red. It has white underparts with two large, conspicuous black stripes across the breast. It has a bright rufous rump that can be seen in flight. Males and females are similar.
Diet: Earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects.
Range: The Killdeer breeds throughout sub-Arctic Canada, the United States and the Caribbean islands. It is a year-round resident in much of its range. Some Killdeers winter in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Habitat: Open country, pastures, fields, meadows, golf courses, large lawns, rooftops, athletic fields.
Status: The Killdeer is common.