how to attract killdeer birds

You must learn from nature if you want a killdeer couple to build a nest in your backyard. These birds dig a shallow depression in which to lay their eggs, but not so deep that the eggs roll away. Make similar depressions in your garden’s open spaces, far from places where pesticides are applied and where there is a lot of foot traffic. Gravel is a favored material to line a nest with. Other coarse, earth-toned materials like grass, twigs, wood chips, and white-colored pebbles will also work. Like many other shorebirds, killdeer favor materials that help conceal their eggs, which resemble stones.

In some areas, killdeer begin laying eggs in March, marking the beginning of the breeding season. To give breeding pairs a chance to locate your nest, you should have your nest, or nests, ready by early to late February. You may be fortunate enough to witness the hatching of three or more clutches in a season once the birds in your area have come to recognize it as a safe haven. Careful backyard bird watchers should be advised that killdeer chicks hatch prepared to go right away and that adults usually remove the shells to deter predators. If you’re not paying attention, you might believe that the bird nest in your yard was moved or never there in the first place!

Do not be misled into believing that you have entered the set of a television murder mystery if you hear a high-pitched call that sounds like “kill-dee.” Rather, it’s the call of a native marsh bird known by its distinctive song as the killdeer. These charming but noisy wading birds have made a good transition to city living. They are frequently observed foraging in open spaces such as airports, golf courses, wide highway shoulders, and, fortunately for homeowners, large backyards. The problem is that killdeer won’t come to your bird feeders, regardless of where you hang them in your yard. Give up the food if you want to support these talkative feathered friends. Instead, make a sizable depression filled with gravel to provide them with a secure place to nest.

In America, the largest of the many ringed plovers are the killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). They live permanently in the southern U. S. travel to Mexico and move back and forth between the colder northern states, all the way up to Alaska. States like Texas, Virginia, and the Carolinas are where you can see them all year round. People don’t bother them, and in fact, you can frequently find them making their nests on parking lot surfaces and gravel rooftops. One of the main reasons you’ll want them visiting your garden on a regular basis is that they are natural pest controllers; they love eating insects, making a mad dash for anything from grasshoppers and centipedes to earthworms and snails.

What Does a Killdeer Look Like?

how to attract killdeer birds

  • Scientific Name: Charadrius vociferus
  • Common name: Killdeer
  • Family: Plover

Nest and Eggs

how to attract killdeer birds


What attracts killdeer?

Gravel rooftops attract Killdeer for nesting, but can be dangerous places to raise a brood.

What can I feed a killdeer?

Mostly insects. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, fly larvae, many others; also eats spiders, earthworms, centipedes, crayfish, snails. Eats small amounts of seeds as well.

Do killdeer come back to the same place every year?

Still, the birds often nest in the same area each year. I guess that means the male killdeer likes going back to his old stomping grounds. According to All About Birds, killdeer mate after a male picks a spot for the nest, wallows a bit to make a depression in the ground and charms a female into hanging out with him.

What month do killdeer lay eggs?

This bird lays a clutch of four to six buff to beige eggs with dark markings. The breeding season (starting with egg-laying) occurs from mid-March to August, with later timing of egg-laying in the northern portion of the range. Both parents incubate the eggs for 22 to 28 days typically.