Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) are common year-round here in southeastern Arizona in cultivated fields, in areas like athletic fields and golf courses with large expanses of low-cut, irrigated grass, in open wetland areas with mudflats, and along the shores of our desert lakes and rivers. A great place to see Killdeer here in Tucson is along the flowing sections of the Santa Cruz River, which is where I spotted this pair of Killdeer.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) along Tucson's Santa Cruz River

Killdeer are a type of Plover (Family Charadriidae), and these adaptable birds are found both along the coast and in inland areas throughout much of North America and even into parts of northern South America wherever they can find the habitat they prefer.

The Killdeer below was busily wandering the broad mudflats at Arizona's Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in early March of 2007.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) at Arizona's Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Killdeer are brown above and white below with distinctive double black breast bands, a reddish eye-ring, a black eye-stripe, and a white neck ring, forehead, and "eyebrow".

With their distinctive double black breast bands, Killdeer are very easy to identify, but you don't even have to get a good look at them to identify them because Killdeer also have very distinctive "Kill-dee, kill-dee, ..!" calls, and these birds are quite vocal (sometimes semi-annoyingly so if you live near them.) I more often hear Killdeer than see them, perhaps because their high-pitched, shrieking calls can be heard over fair distances.