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American Golden Plover - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo © by Martinuk
Barrow, Alaska, June 2003
Pluvialis dominica


24–28 cm (9½-11 in)
Breeding plumage, dull golden-brown above, with black throat, breast, flanks, belly, and undertail coverts; bold white stripe runs from forehead, over eye, and down side of neck and breast.

In winter, has bold whitish eyebrow, grayish-white underparts. Lacks white wing stripe, white rump, and black patch under wing of larger and paler Black-bellied Plover.

Similar Species

Winter plumage
Photo © by lior kislev
Maagan Michael, Israel, December 2008

European Golden Plover is more stocky and larger headed with white undertail coverts, short bill, and shorter primary projection.
Pacific Golden Plover in all plumages have very slightly longer shallower bill, slightly lighter golden colored back, not as contrasting supercilium, shorter primary projection, and slightly longer legs; in breeding plumage has white on flanks with black barring; nonbreeding plumage has greyish (with hint of gold) breast markings, whitish supercilium; juvenile has yellowish wash to face, barred yellowish breast and belly markings. Best separated with multiple field marks.
Black-bellied Plover is slightly larger with white undertail, black and white spotted back, and white tail and rump.


Breeds in Arctic North America; winters southern South America An annual vagrant to Great Britain, normally in autumn. Vagrants have also been recorded in western and southern Africa.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Photo © by Falk65
Keflavik, Iceland, October 2017

Breeds on tundra. Uses coastal beaches, mudflats and inland prairies and plowed fields when migrating.


Three or four buff eggs, spotted with brown, are laid in a shallow depression lined with moss, usually on a ridge or other elevated spot in the tundra.


Call a mellow quee-lee-la.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Borealbirds

Recommended Citation

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