Coloring Page: Ohio Summer Residents | Killdeer

We’re giving you fun coloring activities! Some birds like to take a vacation and visit Ohio during summer. You might spot them in our state throughout the year, but the birds featured here are most prevalent during summertime.

A female killdeer sits on her nest.
A female killdeer sits on her nest. Look closely and you can see the speckled eggs under her belly. Photo by Tina Shaw/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region.

A plover, the killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) gets its name from the call it makes, an excited kill-dee! Killdeer have a diet of mainly insects, earthworms and sometimes seeds. They’re also known to be opportunistic foragers, and will also eat tree frogs or dead minnows.

Because killdeer make their nests in open fields, flat areas with short vegetation, gravel or on rooftops, they may encounter many threats. Killdeer will often put on a remarkable display to protect their young. Adult killdeer will feign an injury, particularly pretending to have a broken wing, dragging a wing on the ground and making a distress call to lure predators away from the nest. Once the predator is far enough away from a nest, the killdeer is miraculously healed and flies away (not without making a shrill kill-dee, of course).

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A female killdeer poofs up her tail feathers and drags her wings on the ground, pretending to be injured to lure predators away from her nest.
A female killdeer feigns an injury in order to draw attention away from her nest, therefore protecting her eggs. Photo by Courtney Celley/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region.