Plover family (Charadriidae)
Medium-sized shorebird, 8” long. Long pointed wings, dark brown back, white breast and belly, two dark neck rings, light reddish-brown rump is easily seen when bird flies or displays.
Open areas with gravel.
Nests in a scrape on gravelly or bare ground. Eggs are pale brown with darker marks. Clutch size – 4 eggs. Chicks are precocial – they can run from the nest almost immediately after they hatch. The chicks look like the adults but in miniature form with tiny bodies and long toothpick-like legs. Chicks begin flying 20 to 30 days after hatching. Adults are famous for their predator-distracting “broken-wing display” where they appear to be injured and run along the ground dragging their wing, leading a potential predator away from their nest or chicks.
Call is two syllable, “kill-deah”, or one syllable “deah deah deah”.
Charadrius, Greek for “plover”; vociferous, Latin for “vociferous”, for its loud call
In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. We have found several Killdeer nests in the Quarry Bottom. They don’t build a nest; their eggs blend in perfectly with the gravel in the quarry pit.