Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus):
Widespread in Canada, US, Mexico, and Central America. Some Killdeers are migratory, some stay in same location year round. Killdeers are not sandpipers, but plovers. The only North American bird that has two dark horizontal stripes across its breast.
1) Has been given an onomatopoetical name that imitates the English words “Kill-deer.”
2) Females often lay camouflage eggs in gravel beds on rooftops or along roadways.
3) Uses a distraction display (broken-wing act) to lure predators away from nest, but uses a different alarm display to prevent livestock from stepping on eggs.
4) Both chicks and adults are excellent swimmers, even in fast-flowing water.
5) During courting displays, males perform scrape ceremony, digging shallow depressions, where females lay eggs.
6) Females lay eggs in empty nests, but continue adding materials to increase size of nest, sometimes impressively.
Stable populations and adapts surprisingly well to human settlements.
You look lonely sitting on that pile of rocks. Need a friend? I’m a really good friend, you know. I’d be happy keeping you company while you incubate your eggs. You can confide in me all your deepest fears; I won’t spill any secrets, promise. Hungry? I won’t mind helping you look for your favorite bugs. Bad nesting day? I’ll hand-feed you those yummy morsels of gooey invertebrate. Ah ha…you dislike the taste of grasshopper noggin. No problem, I’ll pop those suckers off in a heart-beat.
Oh, you like bird songs huh? I know this awesome new bird band called “One Migration.” Heard of their hit single: “What makes your integumentary structures so beautiful?”This song nails it perfectly about how interlocking barbules are the true source of feather beauty and their hookbill lyrics are so so catchy. Predators scare you? Don’t worry, I’m deft at shooing scary animals away. And, you won’t even have to do that silly broken-wing act (everyone knows you’re not fooling anyone anyway). Pregnancy blues? I tell some hilarious bird jokes that should cheer you up. Sitting on that rock nest uncomfortable? I’ll add some cotton balls under there, it’ll be fit for a queen. Sore and stiff from incubating? My bird feet massages work miracles. Also, chicks dig me. If you need to burn of some steam, feel free to fly away, knowing that your chicks are in safe hands. I’ll show them the ins-and-outs of this marsh, they’ll be pros by the time I get through with them. You’ll be surprised how familiar I am with this place, and all of its hidden hotspots.