Outdoors

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

A killdeer skittering across a sand bar or short grass field is one of Kansas’ first signs of spring. But we often see it a few weeks before our calendar announces the season on March 20

Most migrate for the winter and start showing up in Kansas in mid-February to early March.

Many will continue to migrate northward. Others will settle here, where females will eventually lay eggs on bare ground.

Coming from those eggs will be some of the cutest chicks in Kansas, looking like fuzzy ping-pong balls on toothpick legs as they scurry to keep up with their ever-moving parents.

One of our most vocal shorebirds, their namesake “killdeer” cry is currently like music to the ears of all who are tired of winter.

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