Definition of killdeer
: an American plover (Charadrius vociferus) characterized by two black breast bands and a plaintive penetrating cry
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: 1731
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.
Learn More about killdeer
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about killdeer
Seen and Heard
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