Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)


Sometimes I find it hard to decide which bird to write about, when I haven’t been in the field for a few days.  Such was the case today, since I haven’t been outside because of my eye surgery.  Which, by the way, is finished and my eyesight is beyond excellent.  Can’t wait to get back out tomorrow.

So, anyway, to pick a subject I threw my Stokes bird guide on the floor and it opened up to the Killdeer page.  Just kidding.  I respect my bird guides too much to toss them around carelessly.  But I did just go through my bird photo collections and randomly picked this bird out.

Killdeer

  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/640 sec. @ f9
  • ISO 640
  • Lens focal distance 400mm
  • Metering: partial
  • Aperture priority

Killdeer on nest

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 400
  • Lens focal distance  375mm
  • Metering:  partial
  • Aperture priority

The Killdeer is a tricky little bird, as it can try to lure you away from it’s nest, by pretending to be have a crippled wing.  It will do a controlled flopping in a direction away from the eggs.  Those eggs are usually in plain sight, among some pebbles in open ground, roof top, or driveway, but carefully camoflaged to make them hard to spot.

Killdeer eggs

  •  Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/500 sec. @ f9
  • ISo 400
  • Lens focal distance  360mm
  • Metering:  center weighted average
  • Aperture priority

As you can see, the new-born chicks are fuzzy, long-legged, big-eyed and tiny.

Killdeer chick

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 500mm IS lens with 1.4 tele-converter – hand-held
  • 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1
  • ISO 400
  • Lens focal distance  700mm
  • Metering:  center weighted average
  • Aperture priority

The Killdeer is a resident of Texas year round.    I hope you enjoy the photos and the narrative.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

Reminder:  You can still vote until August 14 for my photos in the National Wildlife Magazine photo contest.  Just click here: People’s Choice