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Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

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Killdeer - Master of Distraction

The Killdeer is one of the most widespread and commonly seen shorebirds in North America. Killdeers lure predators - including humans - away from their nest by calling loudly while appearing to limp and drag a wing. Found throughout the United States and Canada, they nest on the ground, often in... read more »

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Birds That Say Their Own Names

Some birds, such as the Northern Bobwhite, take their names from their songs or vocalizations: "Bobwhite! Bobwhite!" The Killdeer is another bird named for its song: "Kill-dee, kill-dee, kill-dee." There are others. "Poorwill, poorwill, poorwill" calls this Common Poorwill. This bird is the... read more »

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Sentinel Birds

The Killdeer is a sentinel bird, one especially alert to predators. They can see you — or a fox — from a long distance. They keep out of harm's way while warning all the other Killdeers in the area of your presence. Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets also sound alarm calls. Loud,... read more »

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Partial Migration — Killdeer Play Leap Frog

The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter conditions... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration
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