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Bird Gallery

Killdeer

Killdeer
Killdeer

© David McDonald

Charadrius vociferus

Family: (Charadriidae) Plovers and Lapwings

Preferred Habitat:  Fields and shorelines.

Seasonal Occurrence: Abundant throughout the year. Nests in our area

Notes: A shorebird you can see without going to the beach, the Killdeer is our most familiar plover. Slender and lanky with a long pointed tail and long wings, the Killdeer is brownish-tan on top and white below. The white chest is barred with two black bands and the brown face is marked with black and white patches. The bright rufous rump is conspicuous in flight.

The Killdeer is ubiquitous; it's preference for open fields, gravel driveways, parking lots, beach edges, and golf courses has allowed it to thrive throughout our rural and suburban landscapes. The bird is named for its high, plaintive kill-deer call which is easily heard.

Killdeer nest in a shallow depression on the ground in an open area with good visibility. Typically 4 buff eggs blotched with black and brown are incubated by both parents. Killdeer are famous for their ability to feign a wing injury in order to lure predators away from their nest. Killdeer chicks hatch with a full coat of buffy down feathers and a single black breast band. They can walk out of the nest as soon as their feathers dry.

Killdeer can be found all across the state of Texas and are abundant throughout the year.

-- Vicki Stittleburg

Killdeer nest
Killdeer nest with four eggs

Courtesy of Blake Slayton. Image taken in his backyard in Krugerville.

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