One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A widespread American plover with a plaintive call that resembles its name.
"Charadrius vociferus", family "Charadriidae"
- ‘Soon I started driving to the lake north of town, where I found coot and killdeer, and to my uncle's farm to find rufous-sided towhee and field sparrow.’
- ‘However, there were plenty of resident shorebirds hanging out in the lagoon as well, such as the American coot, killdeer, and American avocet.’
- ‘Mallards, ring-necked ducks, killdeer, marbled godwits, and peregrine falcons settle in for the fall.’
- ‘In addition, killdeer, pipits and some shorebirds visit the grassy areas of landfills.’
- ‘But first, even before I spotted the geese or the fireworks of light on the darkening waters, there was the killdeer on a rock, startling me with its cry that rose above the roar of traffic from the onramp to the freeway nearby.’
Mid 18th century: imitative of its call.
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