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Killdeer

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Taken in Litchfield, IL on Fri, June 14, 2013.

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loveydear

It's super cute, but why call it killdeer?

joyfulli

He's a beautiful killdeer, LJ. My mom had some that made a nest in one of her flower pots outside. I like the rings around his neck and his long legs!

pumpkinhead

GREAT photo! Just love watching them!

lyndee

When we first built our home, we would have these run up and down our driveway all the time. As more houses were built, they disappeared. My in-laws are buried in a cemetery and each lane is named after a bird. The one they are buried in is named Killdeer.

laurajane

Okay, I think it's safe to assume that he was standing on one leg and the other one was underneath him. Whew! Thanks to Nancys, dondi and GypsyMoon for the info. I really appreciate it!

Sandy, I never knew they had red rings in their eyes until this photo. How strange!

Thank you very much for your comments, cinderfire, Patti, Nancys, Sandy, dondi, Robym and GypsyMoon! Glad you stopped by.

GypsyMoon1031

At first glance, they are similar to the Ringed + Little Ringed Plover we have in the UK, the Plover+Lapwing group here includes the Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Dotterel, and the Lapwing (common nickname "Pee-wit" because of it's call). They are one of the largest groups within the 'Waders' or Shorebirds category of the UK.

With regard to the standing on one leg thing - It's common among 'waders', especially Plover's. A bird's centre of gravity is different to ours. We find balancing on one leg awkward, even tiring, whereas, it is easy for birds, cause of their centre of gravity. They find it relaxing, often sleeping this way. The Flexor Tendon in their leg actually 'locks' onto the perch when tensioned, so, even while sleeping, they are secure. Perching one legged seems to be an energy saving adaptation.
Many waders hunt standing on one leg, like the Heron, from underwater, one leg could be less noticed by it's prey. It also probably helps regulate body temperature.
And sometimes, it might just be drying it's foot! LOL! Thanks Laurajane, nice pic. I wasn't aware this was a Killdeer - had heard the name, but never associated it to the 'Plover'! ; )

robryan

He's a cute one Laura! It's an unusual name foe a bird though! I love his stripes!!

dondi

Nancy is right. I've often taken a picture and only when looking at it realize the bird is only standing on one leg (e.g. cormorant in Rockport Harbor). I presume that it's a heat retention trick in cold weather, and perhaps relaxation at other times. The other leg will be tucked up next to the body, in the feathers.

chickiemama

Nice shot Laura. I like the red ring around his eye.

Nancys

Most birds when resting will stand on one leg. Then again it could have a predator encounter. I just love these guys and it is so much fun to watch the babies run after mom.

PLG1958

Excellent photo, Laura! Thank you!

cinderfire

LAURAJANE, PLEASE TELL US WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS OR HER OTHER LEG IF YOU KNOW. THESE ARE REALLY LOVELY BIRDS AND THEY DO THE TRICK WITH THEIR 'FALSE' BROKEN WING. MY HUSBAND DIDN'T KNOW A NEST WAS IN OUR YARD AND GOT TOO CLOSE WITH THE MOWER SO WE HAD A LONG PATCH OF GRASS TILL THE BABIES GREW UP AND COULD FLY AWAY .

laurajane

I have never seen the broken wing trick, but have heard of it. I would love to see it in action.

Thanks very much, PG and roseheather.

roseheather

I always like hearing their call. Interesting bird and a great picture.

photogent

I love when you get close to the nest and they do the broken wing trick. The little ones are like a cotton ball.

laurajane

Good question, dondi! I didn't really look closely at the photo. Yikes...where is it?

dondi

*Excellent* photo, lj, but - where's the other leg? :-)