Killdeer Charadrius vociferus is commonly found over much of the North American continent, and is one of the early spring arrivals in southern Ontario. Its call, from which it gets its name, is familiar to birders everywhere.
This series of pictures is designed to show how its cryptic plumage provides it with very effective camouflage. When sitting on its nest the brown of its back merges into the substrate and it is is virtually invisible to either ground predators or marauding hawks.
If the bird is disturbed it is a master at feigning injury and draws the attacker away from its nest with a broken wing display, until it has lured the would-be predator a safe distance from its nest, when it simply takes to the air and flies away.
Killdeers are prone to nest in locations which would seem to be entirely unsuitable, such as at the side of a gravel path leading to a building, but perhaps there are clues which work in their favour not always detected by us.
In any event it is a member of the familiar and much-loved avifauna of this area, bringing delight to birders and non-birders alike.