Large, round head
Short, dark bill
Brownish-tan upper parts
Two black bands on chest
White collar and forehead
Orange rump, visible in flight
Listen to its call.
I ventured back to the rocks by the marina today to see who was hanging about. Although the sun was out, the wind at the shore was bitter so I didn't last very long. I just managed to snap a few pictures of these birds before my hands turned completely numb.
Word history from the Merriam Webster Student Dictionary:
Killdeers are not vicious birds. They have no special hatred of deer, and they do not eat venison.
Whew ... I'm glad we got that cleared up.
Incidentally, both its common and Latin names come from its distinctive call, "kill-deear". Vociferus means shouting noisily.
Learn more about the Killdeer.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.