Common Name: Killdeer
Scientific Name: Charadrius vociferus
Description: Its upper parts are mostly brown with rufous fringes, its cap, back, and wings being the former color. It has a white forehead and a white stripe behind the eye, and its lores and the upper borders to the white forehead are black. The killdeer also has a white collar with a black upper border. The rest of the face is brown. The breast and belly are white, except for two black breast bands. It is the only plover in North America with two breast bands. The rump is red, and the tail is mostly brown.
Distribution: The killdeer breeds in the US (including southeastern Alaska), southern Canada, and Mexico, with less widespread grounds further south, to Panama. Some northern populations are migratory. This bird is resident in the southern half of its breeding range, found throughout the year in most of the contiguous United States.
Habitat: The nonbreeding habitat of the killdeer includes coastal wetlands, beach habitats, and coastal fields. Its breeding grounds are generally open fields with short vegetation.
During breeding the parents use various methods to distract predators during the breeding season. One method is the “broken-wing display”, also known as “injury feigning”. Before displaying, it usually runs from its nest, making alarm calls and other disturbances. When the bird has the attention of the predator, the former turns its tail towards the latter, displaying the threatening orange color of the rump. It then crouches, droops its wings, and lowers its tail, which is more common for them. With increasing intensity, the wings are held higher, the tail is fanned out, and the tail becomes more depressed.