shorebirds, but land-loving ones. You will often find killdeer on pastures
and farmland, as well as along the shores of lakes, oceans, and rivers.
Flying overhead, the killdeer shows how it got its name. It calls out
Q: What is a killdeer nest like?
The nest is minimal -- almost nothing more than the eggs themselves.
Killdeer lay their eggs in a depression on the ground, usually in gravel.
Occasionally the depression is lined with a few pebbles, twigs, or blades
of grass. Sometimes killdeer nest on graveled roofs.
Q: How many
eggs do killdeer lay?
Usually there are 4, or sometimes 3 or 5. Killdeer eggs are blotchy and
look like pebbles. Each egg is a bit pointed at one end, so that the four
eggs fit neatly and help keep each other in place.
Both the male and female killdeer sit on the eggs to incubate them. They
take turns. Incubation lasts for 24-28 days.
Q: What do killdeer eat?
Insects, mostly. They like beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and fly
larvae. They'll also take other non-insect "bugs" such as spiders,
worms, snails, and crayfish. They eat a few weed seeds, but these make up
only about 2% of the killdeer diet.
Q: How do I get more info on killdeer?
The Precocious Killdeer tells how the baby
killdeer "come out running" when they hatch. It also describes
the killdeer's broken-wing display and tells you how to find baby killdeer
in the summertime.
The Essential Killdeer
Common name: Killdeer
Scientific name: Charadrius vociferus
Summer range: All of N. America, east to west, except
extreme Arctic north
Winter range: Withdraws from northern North America.
Extends south into Chile.
Home | FAQ
| Tips | Stories
| Videos | Software
| Optics | Bookstore