Everything You Need to Know About a Killdeer Bird
Learn how to identify a killdeer bird. Discover what the birds look like and get facts about their nests, eggs, songs and more.
What Does a Killdeer Look Like?
To identify a killdeer, look for distinctive markings. They have a brown back, white neck ring, two black bands across a white breast and a long tail with an orange rump that shows only in flight or display. The adults measure 10-1/2 inches in length with a wingspan of 24 inches.
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- Scientific Name: Charadrius vociferus
- Common name: Killdeer
- Family: Plover
Nest and Eggs
This bird does not make a nest. Four eggs, heavily marked with brown spots, scrawls and blotches, are placed on open ground, where they blend in with the surroundings. To attract them to your backyard, offer a protected gravel area where it can lay its eggs. When something approaches its nest, the killdeer spreads its wings and tail, scolds and may even fly at it. If a potential predator comes very near, the bird tries to lure it away by playing wounded.
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What Does a Killdeer Eat?
These birds do not visit bird feeders. They primarily eat insects, and occasionally earthworms, crayfish and weed seeds.
Listen to their song. Their voice is a noisy call of “kill-dee” and repeats “dee-dee-dee.”
Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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Range Map and Habitat
Look for these birds on lawns, cemeteries, parking lots, golf courses and cultivated fields, usually away from water.
Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.
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