Killdeer are small, graceful shorebirds known for their distinctive patterns and unique behavior. They feature a double black neck-ring, brown upper parts, white undersides and a reddish rump visible during flight. Their most striking feature is the flashy orange-buff patch on the tail which is prominently displayed during their broken-wing ploy to distract predators from their nest.
The birds get their name from their shrill "kill-dee" call. Killdeer are often found far from water in pastures, fields, airports and even parking lots where they hunt for insects and invertebrates. Intriguingly theatrical by nature, killdeers are beloved by birdwatchers for putting up an elaborate 'injured bird' show to lead potential predators away from their ground nests.