If the colorful landscape were not enough to signify that spring is here, now you can view some of the early season migrating birds returning to our area, such as the killdeer (Charadrius vociferous.) This member of the shorebird family gets its name from the shrill “killdeer” call it makes when excited. Despite being a shorebird, the killdeer can be found throughout a wide range of landscapes where the ground is disturbed, muddy, or the grass is short. Killdeers can be spotted on lawns, vacant lots, golf courses, or any area where the ground is uncluttered. The killdeer likes to run along the ground in search of insects, worms, snails, or other delicacies. This bird is also a good swimmer and can navigate water well in search of aquatic insects, frogs, or small fish.
The killdeer lays its eggs on the ground and places rocks and twigs around the nest to camouflage the eggs somewhat. If you approach a killdeer nest, the birds will try to lure you away from the eggs using a broken wing display; they will miraculously get better and fly away once you are far enough away. Killdeer live throughout North America. The northern populations migrate south during the winter and are one of the earliest birds to return to their summer homes.
Do some Killdeer watching courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Aviary Cam. The live feed is available from 11 am to 11 pm Eastern time.