Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a common and widespread North American species for which there are few studies of residency patterns and movements. We quantified fidelity and movement patterns of 24 radio-tagged Killdeer in the Willamette Valley of Oregon during the winter of 1999-2000. Results from telemetry surveys and census efforts revealed that the group monitored was composed of winter residents (63%), winter transients (26%), and year-round residents (11%). Movements were localized with birds detected at an average distance of 5.15 ± 0.91 (SE) km from the site of capture. Mean home range size (95% kernel) was 7.73 ± 3.19 km2. However, results also indicated periodic exploratory movements, with some birds detected up to 30 km from marking sites. Overall, individuals exhibited a low degree of fidelity to specific sites and were detected at an average of 11.9 ± 1.1 sites. No differences were found in monthly movement patterns. In almost all cases, year-round residents were more sedentary than winter residents and winter transients. Results indicate a complex regional population structure and highlight the need to consider both migrant and resident birds, as well as seasonal differences in habitat needs and space use requirements, in future conservation planning efforts.
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Vol. 25 • No. 1