The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a shorebird who, like many Californians, has found the sunny habitats of Colorado permanently appealing.The first time I saw a Killdeer in Colorado I almost ran home to check my meds. Having grown up on the beach I knew where these birds belonged and it was not in a gravel field in the middle of State in the middle of the country. Alas, since that psychologically rending day, I have learned that shore birds, and the Killdeer in particular, are quite common in Colorado.
The Killdeer is a common plover that is immediately identifiable by the 3 black neck rings around its neck. While typically a shore bird, it can live far from water. This specimen was in large field of our local dog park. I caught it on film by accident. Even with a 500 mm lens, this bird was so far away and so skittish that I never got very close. That is why these photos are so grainy.
The hot gravel of the dog park where I saw this specimen would seem very uninviting, but this Killdeer obviously found it a great place for a nest.
The Killdeer is famous for its broken wing act, which they put on when anyone gets too close to their nest. By the time I was within 50 yards of this specimen it started flexing its wings, but never went into the full act before simply flying away.