Killdeers require different habitat types for different phases of their life cycle. For nesting, they prefer dry uplands—flat, open areas with sparse vegetation but with nearby cover and water sources. These areas may include beaches, fields, gravel roads, golf courses and even flat rooftops. After breeding, the birds prefer wetter, marshy areas. Killdeers feed almost exclusively on insects but will also eat spiders, earthworms, snails, crabs, crayfish and some plant seeds.