Birds - Killdeer

The killdeer is one of North America’s most common and most successful shorebirds. Killdeer are easily adapted to human-impacted habitats. They can be found on shores and in grassy fields, and they will often nest in the open. One of the most visible birds to produce the “broken wing” display, the adult killdeer will flop along the ground, pretending to be injured while luring a predator away from its nest. Once the predator is far enough away, the killdeer will fly back to the nest giving its distinctive kill-dee, kill-deeer call. Killdeer can even defend their nests from large animals like cattle. The bird will fluff up its feathers and charge at the animal in an attempt to cause the animal to change course. At Wind Cave National Park, killdeer can be seen near human activity—especially near the visitor center, or along gravel roads NPS 5 and NPS 6. Killdeer are usually observed in early April at Wind Cave National Park.

Last updated: January 16, 2018

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