Charadrius vociferus - Linnaeus, 1758
Killdeer
Other English Common Names: killdeer
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Charadrius vociferus Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 176520)
French Common Names: pluvier kildir
Spanish Common Names: Chorlo Tildío, Chorlo Gritón
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101693
Element Code: ABNNB03090
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
Image 11051

© Jeff Nadler

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Charadriidae Charadrius
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Charadrius vociferus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range; large population size; many subpopulations; nesting range expanded historically into many human-altered habitats, but Breeding Bird Survey data indicate a slow decline in recent decades.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N4N5N,N5M (22Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Alaska (S3S4B), Arizona (S5), Arkansas (S4), California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Connecticut (S4B), Delaware (S5B), District of Columbia (S2B,S4N), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S4B,S4N), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5B,S5N), Kansas (S5B), Kentucky (S4S5B,S4N), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S3N,S5B), Maryland (S5B,S4N), Massachusetts (S5B,S5N), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S5B), Missouri (SNRB,SNRN), Montana (S5B), Navajo Nation (S5), Nebraska (S5), Nevada (S5), New Hampshire (S5B), New Jersey (S4B), New Mexico (S4B,S5N), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5B,S5N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S5), Oregon (S5), Pennsylvania (S5B,S5N), Rhode Island (S4B), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S5B), Tennessee (S5B), Texas (S5B), Utah (S5B,S4N), Vermont (S5B), Virginia (S5), Washington (S4S5B,S4S5N), West Virginia (S5B,S4N), Wisconsin (S4?B), Wyoming (S5B,S5N)
Canada Alberta (S5B), British Columbia (S4S5B), Labrador (S2B,SUM), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S3B,S3M), Newfoundland Island (S3B,SUM), Northwest Territories (S4B), Nova Scotia (S3B), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S5B,S5N), Prince Edward Island (S2S3B), Quebec (S5B), Saskatchewan (S5B), Yukon Territory (S3B)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Low) (26Jan2015)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Nesting range extends from eastern Alaska east across Canada (through northern Saskatchewan and southern Hudson Bay region) to Newfoundland, south to southern Baja California, central Mexico, Gulf of Mexico coast of the southeastern United States, southern Florida, West Indies, and, disjunctly, in Costa Rica and western South America (coastal Peru, extreme northwestern Chile, and southwestern Ecuador) (Stiles and Skutch 1989, AOU 1998, Jackson and Jackson 2000).

During the northern winter, the range extends from southeastern Alaska (rarely), southern British Columbia, central United States, and New England south to the West Indies and northern South America (west of Andes to western Ecuador and east to northern Venezuela, and in the breeding range in Peru and Chile). This species sometimes shows up in Europe, Hawaii, and elsewhere outside the primary range.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Morrison et al. (2001) estimated a total population of 1,000,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Many occurrences have at least good estimated viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Formerly this species was shot in apparently large numbers, especially along the Atlantic coast in the late 1890s and early 1900s, and populations evidently declined (Jackson and Jackson 2000).

Locally, pesticides and other contaminants likely have detrimentally affected killdeer populations (see Jackson and Jackson 2000).

This ground-nesting species often nests in the vicinity of human activities, and many nests are destroyed as a result. Cats, dogs, and populations of native predators that have benefited from anthropogenic food resources probably are significant sources of mortality.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant survey-wide decline of 1.1 percent per year for 1980-2007; this rate of decline amounts to a 10 percent decline over 10 years, but BBS abundance was relatively stable during 2000-2007.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend (last 200 years) in abundance is unknown, but as a result of forest clearing the range extent and area of occupancy undoubtedly are much larger now than in the past. Mortality from hunting likely offset this to some degree along the Atlantic coast. In the twentieth century, the breeding range expanded northward in Canda and southward in the southeastern United States (see Jackson and Jackson 2000).

Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant survey-wide decline of 0.6 percent per year for 1966-2007; this amounts to a 22 percent decline over this time period. Abundance declined from an average of roughly 5-6 birds per route in the 1970s and early 1980s to an average of 4.5-4.7 birds per route by the 2000s.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Nesting range extends from eastern Alaska east across Canada (through northern Saskatchewan and southern Hudson Bay region) to Newfoundland, south to southern Baja California, central Mexico, Gulf of Mexico coast of the southeastern United States, southern Florida, West Indies, and, disjunctly, in Costa Rica and western South America (coastal Peru, extreme northwestern Chile, and southwestern Ecuador) (Stiles and Skutch 1989, AOU 1998, Jackson and Jackson 2000).

During the northern winter, the range extends from southeastern Alaska (rarely), southern British Columbia, central United States, and New England south to the West Indies and northern South America (west of Andes to western Ecuador and east to northern Venezuela, and in the breeding range in Peru and Chile). This species sometimes shows up in Europe, Hawaii, and elsewhere outside the primary range.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Hartford (09003)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Farmington (01080207)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Plumage brown above, white below, with a black double breast band. Wing has broad white stripe. Rump and tail rufous; tailtip black with white terminal band. Average length 27 cm, 61 cm.
Reproduction Comments: Nesting phenology varies geographically, with egg laying beginning in March in the southern United States and in April in the north. First clutches are laid around early March in Mississippi, mid-March in North Carolina and Maryland, late March in Pennsylvania, mid- to late March in northeastern California, mid-April in Washington State and Minnesota, and late April in northern Michigan. Active nests may be found as late as July in the north, and late summer and fall nesting sometimes occurs in the southern United States. Clutch size is 3-5 (usually 4). Incubation averages 24-30 days, by both sexes (female may desert second clutch in some areas). Young are tended by both parents, first fly at about 25 days. Sometimes a female produces two broods in a single season. Both sexes may breed at an age of one year.

In hot conditions, adult killdeer sometimes dip their breast-feathers in water, return to the nest, and apply the water to the eggs. Presumably this cools the eggs through conduction and evaporation.

Ecology Comments: Nesting density in several different areas was 13-30 pairs per hectare. Relatively isolated nesting of single pairs also occurs.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: This species is described as a medium distance partial migrant, but its seasonal movements are complex and not well understood (Jackson and Jackson 2000). Migrants arrive in northernmost breeding areas in March-April, depart by September-October (Bent 1929). In Puerto Rico, resident populations are augmented by North American migrants fall-spring (Raffaele 1983). Migrants arrive in Costa Rica in late August-September, depart in April-May (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Estuarine Habitat(s): Tidal flat/shore
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Sand/dune, Suburban/orchard
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes various open areas such as fields, meadows, lawns, pastures, mudflats, and shores of lakes, ponds, rivers, and seacoasts (AOU 1983). Nests are on the ground ground in open dry or gravelly situations, sometimes in similar situations on roofs, driveways, etc.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Diet includes small invertebrates obtained from ground surface, sometimes in shallow water (Terres 1980).`
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Sometimes activity occurs on moonlit nights (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Length: 27 centimeters
Weight: 101 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shorebirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Feeding Area, Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas of nesting adults and broods. Because separations are based on nesting areas, the foraging areas of different occurrences may overlap if nesting birds are traveling to distant places to feed.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance pertains specifically to nesting areas, not to locations of dispersed foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas.

The separation distance is an arbitrary value; it is impractical to attempt to delineate shorebird occurrences on the basis of dispersal patterns or metapopulation dynamics. Foraging ranges of some nesting shorebird species (see following) may suggest use of a larger separation distance, but this likely would result in occurrences that are too large and less effective for conservation planning.

Separation distance based on larger 'typical' breeding home ranges with diameters of 1.5 to 3 kilometers. Semipalmated Plovers have breeding home ranges up to 3 square kilometers, i.e. a diameter of just under 2 kilometers (Nol and Blanken 1999). Red-necked Phalaropes have a core home range of 1-3 hectares, but occasionally travel 1.5 kilometers to feed (Rubega et al. 2000). Stilt Sandpipers can forage up to 8 kilometers from nest (Jehl 1973). Mountain Plovers have an average home range of 56.6 hectares (Knopf 1996) but broods typically move 1-2 kilometers shortly after hatching (Knopf and Rupert 1996).

Territories: Common Snipe, 6.4-28.6 hectares (Mueller 1999); Long-billed Dowitcher, 100-300 meter diameter (Johnsgard 1981); golden-plovers, average 10-59 hectares (Johnson and Connors 1996); Long-billed Curlew, 6-20 hectares (Johnsgard 1981).

Nesting densities: Black-bellied Plover, 0.3-2.3 pairs per square kilometer (44 ha per pair at latter density; Hussell and Page 1976, Parmelee et al. 1967); Marbled Godwit, maximum density 1 pair/32 hectares (Stewart and Kantrud 1972).

Foraging distances: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 13 kilometers from nest (Elphick and Tibbits 1998, Tibbits and Moskoff 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a smaller 'typical' home ranges (see Separation Justification).
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging concentration area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (minimum can be reduced in the case of rarer species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 15Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Winter Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Mar2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Jan2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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