Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

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  • Killdeer |  Photo: Roy W. Lowe, USFWS
  • Killdeer |  Photo: Roy W. Lowe, USFWS
  • Killdeer |  Photo: Roy W. Lowe, USFWS
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Killdeer Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Charadriiformes

Family

Charadriidae

Size

Killdeer are between 7.75 and 11 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 11 years

Weight

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) facts, habitat, range, pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the shorebird.

Diet

Killdeer consume primarily invertebrates such as snails.

Behavior

Ground Forager

Range

Nationwide

Nest Placement

Ground

Number of Offspring

4–5 Eggs

Egg Description

Buff with black to dark brown spots

Condition at Hatching

Active, down covered, leaves nest early

Social Status

Small Flocks

Wingspan

18-19 in

Observation Tips

Killdeer are observed everywhere from backyards, to mountain meadows with short grass.

What does the Killdeer look like?

Killdeer are shorebirds with light brown backs and long wings with white chests that have two black breast bands. They have white and black patches on their faces, glowing red eye rings and an orange rump. Their black bills are straight and thin.

Killdeer Habitat

Grasslands

Killdeer Facts

Killdeer are shorebirds, which often live nowhere near a shore. These noisy birds are common across the country, everywhere from golf courses to pristine mountain meadows. When potential predators approach a Killdeer's nest, they often use a "broken wing" display to lure them away. However if an animal is approaching that will simply crush the eggs, Killdeer will puff up, raise their tail and charge like an angry moose!

See also