Killdee

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Killdee (Zoöl) A small American plover (Charadrius vociferus, formerly Ægialitis vocifera) of inland waters and fields having a distinctive cry. The adult has two black bands around the neck and upper breast, but the young chick has only the breast band. It ranges from Canada to Mexico and the West Indies.☞ It is dark grayish brown above; the rump and upper tail coverts are yellowish rufous; the belly, throat, and a line over the eyes, white; a ring round the neck and band across the breast, black.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n killdee The largest and commonest ring-plover of North America, Ægialites vociferus: so called in imitation of its shrill two-syllabled note. The killdee is from 9 to 10 inches long, and 20 in extent of wings. The bill is black; the eye is black with a bright ring around it; the legs are pale; the upper parts are grayish-brown with a bronzed olive tint, changing to orange-brown on the rump; the under parts are pure white, with two black collars encircling the neck; the front and line over the eye are white, with a black stripe over this; and the tail-feathers are peculiarly variegated with black, white, and the bright color of the rump. It occurs almost everywhere in North America is migratory, not gregarious, very noisy, and restless. It nests on the ground, in grass or shingle, and lays four pyriform eggs, 1½ inches long and inches broad, of a drab color heavily blotched with blackish brown.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Killdee kil′dē the largest variety of North American ring-plover.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
So named from its notes
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Imit.

Usage

In literature:

He ran along before the children as nimbly as a killdee, talking and laughing all the time.
"Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country" by Joel Chandler Harris
He's pine-blank as happy now as a killdee by a mill-race.
"Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches" by Joel Chandler Harris
The killdee cries and the lonesome loon.
"The Garden of Dreams" by Madison J. Cawein
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In poetry:

A bug shoots by that snaps and ticks,
And a bird flies up beside the tree
To go into the sky to sing.
I hear it say, "Killdee, killdee!"
"Water Noises" by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Oh, dim and wan came in the dawn,
And gloomy closed the day;
The killdee whistled among the weeds,
The heron flapped in the river reeds,
And the snipe piped far away.
"At The Ferry" by Madison Julius Cawein
Cows in the stall and sheep in the fold;
Clouds in the west, deep crimson and gold;
A heron's far flight to a roost somewhere;
The twitter of killdees keen in the air;
The noise of a wagon that jolts through the gloam
On the last load home.
"Harvest" by John Charles McNeill