I've been enjoying (along with Dave and Chris Cicimurri from the Geology Museum) and probably many others, the unusually large numbers of killdeer the last week and a half or so on the Garden's meadows. I saw over 14 in a loose flock late last week and we've been remarking on their numbers.
As warmer 'normal' winter weather moved in, they're gone as of Monday. Coincidence? Hard to know. Dave and I have been searching various sources to see if their behavior (appearing here in larger numbers in the first place) might be understandable from a natural history point of view.
Killdeer are common year-round residents in South Carolina, but they're such recognizable birds we think that we'd have noticed them in previous years in these numbers.
But maybe some of you have seen them in open areas near campus or elsewhere? Let us know.