• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco



(Charadrius vociferus)
Killdeer at the beach at Crissy Field.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: The Killdeer forages by running, stopping, and lunging at insects and other invertebrates. It is especially fond of feeding on grasshoppers and beetles. It is monogamous by nature and nests solitarily from February to August in ground depressions. This species tends to vigorously defend its nests.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found in areas of ponds, tidal sand areas, and upland rock areas. These are the areas where they tend to breed.

Frequency: This species is common year round.

Identifying Characteristics: the Killdeer is distinguished by a golden-red rump and two black bands across its breast. This species has a tendency to be noisy, especially in flight.

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

Jonathan Letterman

Major Jonathan Letterman--after whom the hospital at the Presidio was renamed in 1911--was the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. A founding father of military medicine, Letterman organized forward first-aid stations, mobile field hospitals, and ambulance services during the Civil War.