Killdeer are larger and more slender than other shorebirds common near human settlement, and the adults have a double breast band that distinguishes them from all other plovers. Their red eye-ring and white “eyebrow” are distinctive as well.
- Many other plovers and turnstones have orange legs, but Killdeer have pale, pinkish legs.
- Killdeer prefer drier and less heavily vegetated environments than most shorebirds or plovers — they are one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds. This means you can find them in golf courses, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs. If you see a shorebird in any of these three types of areas, it is pretty likely you’re looking at a Killdeer!
- The Killdeer’s call (simple to remember: a high-pitched kill-deer that is often repeated over and over) makes the bird easy to recognize.