Definition of killdeer
: an American plover (Charadrius vociferus) characterized by two black breast bands and a plaintive penetrating cry
Recent Examples of killdeer from the Web
A lovely bird in the plover family, killdeer have black, white and tan on long legs with bright orange eyes.
Lately, I have been accosted by an assertive and nervous killdeer.
A killdeer flew high above, and there were cardinals, a little farther away, sticking closer to the ground.
Meanwhile, the disease has killed thousands of waterbirds, as well as nearly 200 bald eagles and a handful of geese, hawks, owls, killdeer, and probably more avian species.
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Did You Know?
This attractive dark-eyed bird has a loud, rather sad cry that to some people sounds like “Kill deer! Kill deer!” Killdeers are not vicious birds. They have no special hatred of deer, and they do not eat venison. The killdeer is simply an animal that got its name from human interpretation of its call.
Origin and Etymology of killdeer
First Known Use: 1731See Words from the same year
KILLDEER Defined for Kids
Definition of killdeer for Students
: a grayish brown North American bird that has a high-pitched mournful call
History for killdeer
Killdeers are not vicious birds. They have no particular hatred for deer, but to some people the cry of these birds must have sounded like “Kill deer! Kill deer! Kill deer!” That is why the bird got its unusual name.
Seen and Heard
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