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Pacific Golden Plover

From Opus

Breeding Adult Photo © by Doug Greenberg Kualoa Park, Oahu, Hawaii, April 2004
Breeding Adult
Photo © by Doug Greenberg
Kualoa Park, Oahu, Hawaii, April 2004
Pluvialis fulva


[edit] Identification

21-25cm Breeding Adult

  • Upperparts, crown and hind neck are blackish strongly spotted with gold
  • A white band across forehead, supercilium and sides of neck
  • Black underparts
  • Dark grey legs
  • Black bill


  • Loses black underparts
  • Less gold upperparts

Juvenile: resembles winter adult but has an almost white forehead and supercilium. The flanks are chevroned with dusky-yellow but belly and vent are whitish.

Juvenile Photo © by James Wang Shanghai, China, August 2003
Photo © by James Wang
Shanghai, China, August 2003

[edit] Similar Species

Eurasian Golden Plover: a slightly larger, stockier bird, but with shorter primary extension and shorter legs.
American Golden Plover: Pacific Golden Plover is bit lighter and "golder" overall. Has same white at forehead but not quite as thick, white runs down along sides, thickens at wing bend but continues along the flanks, does not abruptly stop as in the American Golden Plover.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in the tundra of (Siberia and western Alaska). Winters in south Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Ocean islands, notably Hawaii.

A regular vagrant to Europe, north-eastern Africa and California.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

In the past, it was often considered a subspecies of American Golden Plover (sensu lato) by some authors, under the name 'Lesser Golden Plover'[2].

[edit] Habitat

Breeds on arctic and sub-arctic tundra and in stony, gently sloping uplands.

Winters at water edges, marshlands, swamps, coastal mudflats, rice-fields, and on short-grass expanses

[edit] Behaviour

They may form large flocks on their winter feeding grounds.

[edit] Diet

Diet includes molluscs, worms, crustaceans, spiders. During breeding, berries, seeds and leaves are added.

They use the typical 'plover' feeding action of 'run and stop'.

[edit] Breeding

They make their nest as a shallow scrape lined with lichens. Four eggs are laid, incubated by both parents (26 days). After hatching, the chicks and parents move off to moist shrubby or grassy tundra. When threatened, the parent distracts the predator from the nest or chicks by pretending to have a broken wing. Both parents raise the young, but if the brood is late, only by the male.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: A loud tu-it or keruit or kyew-eek.

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the Western Palearctic
  4. naturia
  5. BF Member Observations

[edit] External Links


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