My first Killdeer in Costa Rica

The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is not a difficult bird to find in Costa Rica but local sightings are a bit thin on the ground. I stopped off at the Embalse Jasec dam at Birris on the Paraiso-Turrialba road to see the scaup and teal that are there at this time of year and was surprised to find a pair of killdeer that were standing motionless on the gravel bank at the nearest part of the dam to the main road.

Killdeer in Florida, by courtesy of Karel Straatman

Killdeer in Florida, by courtesy of Karel Straatman

The Killdeer, one of the commonest shorebirds in North America, I suppose, is mostly a migrant in Costa Rica, although Garrigues and Dean‘s bird guide states that there are resident populations in the Central Valley. Actually, the ones that I saw may also be residents since local birder Daniel Martínez has reported them there in almost every month of the year.

The fact that this is my first sighting in the country is another indicator of just how many species Costa Rica has and how even relatively common birds are found only at selected locations. This species ought also to be found at local sites such as Casa Turire, on the banks of the Angostura Dam.  Shorebirds are certainly hard to find in our mountain area, on the volcano slope above Turrialba. I close with a photo by Richard Garrigues of a Killdeer in Costa Rica:

Killdeer in Costa Rica

Killdeer in Costa Rica, courtesy of Richard Garrigues

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