Charadrius vociferus

Order: Charadriiformes
Order Description: Shorebirds, Gulls, Terns
Family: Charadriidae
Family Description: Plovers

Physical Description:
9-11" (23-28 cm). Adults have white underparts and underwings with two contrasting broad black bands across breast (top band completely encircles neck); plain tan above; rump rufous; tail long and tapered with white edges and black subterminal band; upper wing with bold white stripe seen in flight. Black forecrown and face mask separated by white forehead and eyebrow; bill small and black; eyes large and dark.

Similar Species- Other Plovers

Gives piercing alarm whistles, repeats its name, and trills a dididididididee.

Breeds from Alaska, east through parts of Canada to Newfoundland, and south to southern Baja California, central Mexico, Gulf Coast, southern Florida, and western South America. Winters from southeastern Alaska (rarely), southern British Columbia, central U.S., and New England, south to western Indies and northern South America.

Found in fields, meadows, pastures, mudflats, and shores of lakes, ponds, and rivers; found less commonly along seacoasts.

Feeds on small invertebrates on ground surface, but will also feed in shallow water.

Nests in depression on ground, in variety of habitats from unconcealed locations near human habitation, to gravelly, camouflaged areas. Nesting density in several different areas was 13-30 pairs/ha. Forages on ground. Sometimes active on moonlit nights. Adults engage in broken-wing distraction displays. In Idaho study, Killdeer were more abundant in grazed than ungrazed riparianClick word for definition habitat.

clutchClick word for definition size varies from 3-5 eggs, but is usually 4. Both parents incubateClick word for definition eggs; incubation averages 24-30 days (female may desert second clutchClick word for definition in some areas). Young are attended by both parents, and first fly at about 25 days.

Element Code: ABNNB03090
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
Medin, D.E. and W.P. Clary. 1990. Bird and small mammal populations in a grazed and ungrazed riparian habitat in Idaho. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Res. Paper INT-245, Boise. 8pp.

Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.