About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Killdeer arrive

Another sure sign of spring is the call of the Killdeer. Killdeer are a shorebird you can see without going to the beach. Every year we have one nesting in the runoff ditch across the street from the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing. You usually hear their familiar Kill-deer call before you see them, especially if you aren't expecting to see them on the edge of a parking lot.

Killdeer are surprisingly unobtrusive even with their yellow legs, white belly, two black necklaces and a brown face marked with black and white patches. They spend their time walking along the ground or running ahead a few steps, stopping to look around, and running on again as they look for earthworms, snails, crayfish, grasshoppers, beetles, and aquatic insect larvae.

Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter conditions are more severe, winter in Gulf and Atlantic states. In the new year, migrating killdeer arrive in Michigan early March, with peak numbers in last 3 weeks of March. In Michigan, egg-laying begins in late April and continues through June. In most northern areas, one brood is normal and second or third nesting attempts usually happen because of a failure of earlier efforts. By the end of October most have returned south.
Related Articles: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/414948
- Killdeer nest abandoned http://goo.gl/qNkf3w
- What bird makes a ground nest in Michigan? http://goo.gl/2yc02
- What Do I Feed Baby Killdeer? http://goo.gl/fXiYD
- Nesting Questions http://goo.gl/pNt7V

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