Have you ever heard that shrieking sound that sounds awfully a lot like “kill-dee?” If you have, it’s a bird aptly named “killdeer” that makes it.
This charming avian has adapted to urban life quite well and with a little bit of luck (and some work on your part), you can attract them to your garden.
However, simply building a bird feeder won’t help because these birds don’t frequent them. Instead, offer them nesting space and they will happily flock to your yard.
Let’s get started!
Why Do It?
Killdeers aren’t just endearing, they serve a great purpose. They feed on insects, such as grasshoppers, centipedes, and earthworms, and will provide natural pest control to your garden.
You can frequently see them in gravelly locations and they’re not afraid of humans. They migrate between the southern US and as far north as Alaska, although you can see them all year long in Texas, Carolinas, and Virginia.
And if you want to attract these pest-control avians, here’s how!
Build A Nest
If you want killdeers in your garden, all you have to do is build them a nest. These birds lay their eggs in shallow basins that are deep-seated enough to prevent them from rolling away.
Therefore, make several indentations in open areas of your yard where there’s not much foot traffic or use of chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
They prefer gravel, although you can use white pebbles, twigs, wood chips, grass, and similar earthy materials. These materials help killdeers camouflage their eggs, which is why they love them, so try to find something that will do just that in your garden.
When To Make Killdeer Nests
These birds lay their eggs as early as March in some climates, which is why you should make them in February. This will give killdeers enough time to find them.
Your garden will quickly become a safe spot for these avians and with a little bit of luck, you will be able to find 3-4 clutches per season.
Just know that the chicks leave as soon as they hatch, while their parents quickly remove the eggshells so as not to attract predators. So, if you want to watch these birds, you’ll have to be very observant.
Sometimes it seems as if the nest was never there to begin with, but know that no one moved it; killdeers clean them quite quickly after the chicks hatch.