Kildeer (Charadrius vociferus) are a distinctly colored winter blessing
Some breeding maps show my neighborhood as "summer only" territory though to be fair, we live just up the hill from the Ohio River which, for West Virginia is the dividing line.
It has been warmer around here for the past couple years. That may be the reason that last winter is the first winter I remember seeing the brown and white Kildeer in our lane in January.
The sharply featured shorebird enjoys the gravel lane which is our driveway. I like the way the Cornel Lab of Ornithology web site starts its description, "A shorebird you can see without going to the beach." Cornel's is one identification map that lets the birds be in the Ohio Valley during winter.
I try not to worry about they eat during the very cold spells we do have as I enjoy watching the bird run across an open space with its characteristic short burst of speed. It is hard for me not to picture it as a neatly dressed, high-heeled woman hurrying through a crosswalk. She stops, looks behind her then quickly moves on.
With the Kildeer I will look forward to the warm winds of spring. I have just learned, today, that they are good swimmers. This year I will pay more attention to the nearby pond to see if I ever spot a kildeer on it.
For now I will enjoy this winter bird blessing.