Friday, May 1, 2009


The Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus, is quite a character. Although a shorebird, you're liable to find one out on a gravel lot, darting around rapidly, a few feet at a time. With its bright white chest, double-banded neck, and red eye, it's fairly easy to identify this member of the Plover family.

I first met this species many years ago when I found a nest on a gravelly piece to the side of a baseball field. When I got too close, I got the broken wing act. I mean, it gives a really good imitation of being injured--anything to take the heat off its clutch of eggs.

I've been hunting this little one for weeks, first spying it on a beach area where I take most group shots of Canada Geese. There I couldn't get close, but in one of my favorite spots, it was quite accomodating so I kept shooting and getting closer until it finally blew me off.


  1. WOW! These are great! I have seen only a few killdeer but never close enough to get a usable photo for my journal let alone ones of this caliber. I have seen their "injured wing" routine and knowing that usually means a ground nest and/or chicks are near by, I try to keep my distance as I always have my dog with me (leashed) and I don't want to disturb (or accidently harm) them.
    Wonderful photos!!

  2. Hey thanks, Gretchen! I got very lucky here--couldn't believe the little one stayed with me for so long.

    I think it is early for the breeding season. It'd be so great to capture nesting and chicks.