Natural harbingers of spring


If the warm weather was 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 its shrill “killdeer” call it makes when excited. Despite being a shorebird, the killdeer can be found in a wide range of landscapes where the ground is disturbed, muddy, or where the grass is short.

Killdeer in flight

Killdeers can be spotted in 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 try 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, and 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.

Article by FCFCDB

Nature Note for 4/17/2016