- 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
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.
There are 3 subspecies1:
- C. v. vociferus - Canada, US and Mexico; winters to north-western South America
- C. v. ternominatus - Greater Antilles
- C. v. peruvianus - Peru and north-western Chile
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
- 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/
- 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).
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Killdeer. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 6 March 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Killdeer