This is a striking member of the plover family, with long, jointed legs and long bill. It has a brown/orange back, but its most prominent feature is a white front with two black bands across the neck; a white eye stripe; and a large, red-rimmed eye. Juveniles have only one neck stripe.
The killdeer is a common shore bird, but has a large range. It can be found not only in wet places but in open dry spots like lawns and even parking lots, strutting, stopping, and starting. It calls loudly with its high pitched “kill deer” call. It eats insects, seeds, and many animals like worms and frogs. Its nest, on the ground, is just a rudimentary “scrape.” It is famous for a "broken wing" decoy behavior that draws attention away from the nest.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, nesting sites. The killdeer has adapted well to human landscapes like lawns and paved areas; the SBG has both, and they provide insects, invertebrate food, and nesting places.
When can I see it?
Spring, summer, and fall. SBG falls within the Killdeer’s summer range. The Killdeer is considered a "medium distance partial migrant" and its movements are not well understood.