My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus

Their name comes from their frequently heard call. These birds will frequently use a distraction display (“broken-wing act”) to distract predators from their nests. This involves the bird walking away from its nesting area holding its wing in a position that simulates an injury and then flapping around on the ground emitting a distress call. The predators then think they have easy prey and are attracted to this seemingly injured bird and away from the nest. If the parent sees that a potential predator is not following them, they will move closer and get louder until they get the attention of the predator. This is repeated until the predator is far from the nest, and the killdeer suddenly “heals” and flies away.

Although Killdeer are considered shorebirds in the plover family, they often live far from water. They live in grassland habitats such as fields, meadows, and pastures. The nest itself is merely a shallow depression or bowl in the ground, fringed by some stones and blades of grass. The precious nest is well camouflaged, as the spots of the eggs disguise them as stones, and the simple structure of the nest resembles its surroundings. Like many other waders, Killdeer hatchlings are precocial birds and are able to see and forage soon after hatching.

These birds forage for food in fields, mudflats, and shores, usually by sight. They mainly eat insects.

On to the photos:












This is number 44 in my photo life list, only 306 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!



9 responses

  1. Hi there–Just a quick note to let you know that I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. Here’s the info:
    Thanks for sharing the bird pix–keep up the good work!

    March 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

    • Thanks Lori! I do appreciate that you think enough of my blog to nominate it for an award. However, I decided long ago not to participate in any of the blogging awards. I don’t want to have to pick out just a few of the blogs that I follow to pass the award on to, that would leave many excellent blogs out, and I’d rather not do that. Hope that you understand.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

      • Of course!!! I am absolutely not going to make a habit of it myself but thought I could at least get a blog post out of it… Please just accept my compliments on work well done. PS, I love killdeer. They make the coolest sounds and they’re fun to watch. Thx for sharing!

        March 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      • Once again, thank you for thinking that my blog was deserving of any award! And, to respond to your other comment, that notice has been there for so long that even I forget that it’s there. 🙂

        March 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

  2. PS, did you always have that blog nomination notice and I didn’t, er, notice? 🙂 So sorry!!!

    March 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

  3. Great find ! It’s funny how they like to stand in the general same position. At an angle away from us. Have a great weekend.

    March 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    • Thanks, I never noticed it before, but you’re right as far as the way that they stand. And as for the great weekend, is there any other kind?

      March 2, 2013 at 2:02 am

  4. The Killdeer are back here in Ohio- this is a very timely post!

    I like your photo life list idea, this is great to see and read.

    March 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    • Thanks! I may not ever finish the project, but in a way, that’s also the beauty of it. It gives me something to shoot for, pardon the pun. 🙂

      March 3, 2013 at 1:20 am