Arizona Bird, or Not???

by by:China
(Phoenix,Az)

Found in Arizona on a school playground

Found in Arizona on a school playground

Found in Arizona on a school playground
Killdeer

This bird showed up after a storm. It ended up on the playground of my kid's school. The grounds keepers have yellow taped it off so that the kids won't disturb or harm the bird and her eggs. There has also been another one hanging around her,the male I assume, but anyhow,I have never seen a bird like this here in Arizona. So, I was wondering if it was maybe carried in by the storm from somewhere else or what?

This bird is white on the chest and has a brownish grey back,it has a black ring that wraps around the forehead and eyes,kinda like a headband or something, and it has a small white section just before the beak,then it has a thin black ring just under the beak,around the neck and then in this pattern, rings around the neck ;white,black,white,black and then the white chest area begins. It has been at the playground for a week now, can someone help me identify this bird please!!! Thank You


Answer

That is a Killdeer. He will ususally tell you his name. Killdee, Killdee, he calls with his high voice when alarmed. When at peace, his voice is sweet and low.

They usually nest in grassy fields, near water, uplands or lowlands, or marshy meadows beside the sea. They are of the plover family, and often run about nimbly, nervously, looking for something that may trouble the nest, as well as food. Because worms, which are their favorite food, come out of the ground at nightfall, the birds are especially active then. Grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects content them during the day. I have included a picture of a Killdeer on it's nest. You can see the eggs. Enjoy!
Happy Birding,
Susan

Comments for Arizona Bird, or Not???

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Apr 08, 2011
Immoveable plovers
by: Mervyn Gray

Your letter and photos of the Kildeer reminded me of a situation that confronted us on a school playing field some time back. It was a rugby field (South Africa) where a Blacksmith Plover had laid its eggs (two of them) right in the middle. There she sat unintimidated by the boys who were practicing around her home during the week. This was fine until Saturday / match day came and there was nowhere else for the scheduled match against another team to be played. The defensive plover remained fixed to her eggs like a good mother, but the match had to take place...the other team had travelled quite far to play. At that point,one rather buxom mother, who had been looking on, took the initiative: she ushered mother plover out of the way, took the two eggs, placed them strategically in her copious bra, and signaled for the game to proceed. She kept them in this warm and comforting haven for the whole game, at which point she replaced them after the fulltime whistle. Soon after, mother Plover returned and continued her vigil, not too obviously upset by the temporary relief !


Comment
Great story!

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