Skokie Tracks #2: Killdeer- Charadrius vociferus

November 25, 2009

One of the birds that I have seen and heard the last several springs while walking HERE is one of North America's most widespread plovers: the Killdeer. Even though a shorebird, it often spotted far from shores or any body of water for that matter. Their preference is for dry, open upland habitat, especially farmland, lawns, sports fields and even construction sites. Once agressively market hunted, it is now possibly more common than at any other point in its recorded history. This is partially due to its ability to adapt to human wrought habitat changes. The Killdeers that I see along my little stretch of abandoned rail line are part of a northern population that is migratory. Southern US populations are resident within their ranges. Many people have heard the Killdeer's high, piping call of tewddew or "killdeer, killdeer". C. vociferus is also known for luring potential predators away from chicks and nest sites by making loud cries and pretending to have broken wings.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving!


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