Another early spring migrant has returned to Ontario. I spotted my first Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) of the new season on Wednesday. Killdeer, as their scientific name indicates, are quite vociferous and you often hear them before you see them. In fact, seeing them can be problematic.
With their cryptic coloration, Killdeer can be very hard to spot. It makes taking a photograph challenging when you have to first pick out the subject from the background before you release the shutter.
There’s a good reason for their disguise, of course. Killdeer nest on the ground, often in the open, and their patterned feather coat helps to protect them. Killdeer are also famous for their “broken wing” display, which is used to distract predators and lead them away from the nest. Here he is: