• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Killdeer - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by BigSkyBirds
South of Great Falls, Montana, USA, April 2005
Charadrius vociferus


20–28 cm (7¾-11 in)
The only North American plover with a double black breast band.

  • Orange-brown rump and upper tail


C. v. vociferous
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Brazos County, Texas, USA, 09 April 2021

Breeds throughout much of North America as far north as south Alaska and central Canada and winters in Atlantic and Pacific states and in the southernn USA southwards. In the east breeds north to Quebec and Newfoundland and occasionally taken north to Newfoundland in late autumn and winter by storms on the Atlantic coast. This is the origin of transatlantic stragglers.

Vagrants recorded in Iceland, Faroes and British Isles, south to Spain, Portugal and the Azores and east to Hungary and Romania. Most records come from the British Isles (c.47 British records) in late autumn, winter and early spring and although well-scattered the majority are in the south-west and especially on Scilly.



Photo © by raymondjbarlow
Fifty Point Conservation Area, Stoney Creek, Ontario, May 2007

There are 3 subspecies1:


Open grassy land including pastures, lawns, airfields and golf courses. Also mudflats, along shorelines and beside gravel-pits, especially in winter.


Notorious for its "broken-wing" display to distract predators from nests and young.


Their diet consists almost entirely of insects, particularly beetles and flies; with the addition of grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, dragonflies, millipedes, worms, snail and, spiders.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53827 on 18 August 2019).

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1