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Marshbirds and Shorebirds of North Dakota

Killdeer


KILLDEER Charadrius vociferus L10" (27cm)

The killdeer derives its name from its loud, high-pitched call: a repeated kill-deeah, kill-deeah, kill-deeah. The killdeer can be found in a variety of habitats throughout North Dakota. These include stubble fields, heavily grazed prairie, areas of exposed sand and gravel, and bare shorelines of ponds and lakes. The nest is a slight depression in the ground and lined with pebbles and grass. The female lays 3-5 camouflaged eggs with both sexes sharing incubation duties. The incubation period lasts about 24 days and the young are able to fly 25 days after hatching. Some killdeers raise two broods per breeding season. Like the piping plover, the killdeer feeds in the same run-and-stop fashion. It feeds exclusively on insects such as beetles, grubs, grasshoppers, and ants.


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