When you think of a shorebird, you think of the beach or a tidal area. But our most common shorebird is more likely to be found on ballfields, golf courses and even shopping malls. The Killdeer is a medium sized plover (wading birds of the family Charadriidae), about 10 inches long with a wingspan up to 24 inches. Often the first indication that a killdeer is nearby is its very distinct call which is a high-pitched: "dee, deeyee, tyeeee, deew, tewdew". They are usually found alone or sometimes in pairs. When killdeer have chicks nearby, they will often try to lead a predator (or unsuspecting human) away from the nest by pretending to have a broken wing. Such behavior is common in ground nesting birds.
The definition of the killdeer's scientific name says a great deal about this bird: "Charadrius vociferus: American plover of inland waters and fields having a distinctive cry."
Some neat Killdeer facts:
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