Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), 10.5 inches long

Pair of Killdeer with eggs

The Killdeer is a common and widespread permanent resident in southeast Arizona; it favors moist habitats including banks of streams, rivers, reservoirs, and sewage treatment facilities. It feeds mostly on insects which it catches by running along the ground and snapping at whatever is hiding in the short vegetation. Field marks include a tan or chocolate brown back with a white neck and belly and double breast bands of black.

The Killdeer nest is usually on open ground with the speckled eggs laid directly on gravel or grass. The bird's name comes from its call which can be described as a piercing kil-dee. You may also hear its ascending dee-dee-dee cry or a long trilled trrrr call.

Killdeer with eggs

In Cochise County look for Killdeer at the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge, San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, and the Sierra Vista Environmental Operations Park.