Although Killdeer are a rather common bird, I started paying attention to them long before I “officially” started birdwatching. Like most people, I probably noticed them because of their distinctive cry, a cry that’s impossible to miss once you’ve learned it. Many years later, they remainl a personal favorite.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I am also fond of the Semipalmated Plover, perhaps because I tended to confuse them until my last trip to Ocean Shores. Though the Semipalmated Plover is 7” tall, 3” shorter than a Killdeer, it’s hard to distinguish that difference when you’ve never seen them together.

Semipalmated Plovers

After seeing both on the beach a short distance apart, I doubt I’ll ever confuse them again.

Seen near each other, it seems amazing that I could ever have confused this Killdeer


with it’s relative, even if they are both plovers and both sport a fancy racing stripe.