noun \ˈkil-ˌdir\
plural killdeers or killdeer

Definition of KILLDEER

:  an American plover (Charadrius vociferus) characterized by two black breast bands and a plaintive penetrating cry

Illustration of KILLDEER

Origin of KILLDEER

First Known Use: 1731

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Bird (Charadrius vociferus) that frequents grassy mudflats, pastures, and fields. Its name is suggestive of its loud, insistent whistle. It is about 10 in. (25 cm) long and has a brown back, a white belly, and two black breast bands. Killdeers breed throughout North America and in northwestern South America. They migrate only to escape snow, returning before most songbirds. They eat beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and other insects. To protect their young from predators, killdeers will feign injury and flutter awkwardly away from the nest, luring predators with the promise of an easy kill.


Next Word in the Dictionary: killed
Previous Word in the Dictionary: killdee
All Words Near: killdeer

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up killdeer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).