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Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: CHARADRIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A beautiful shorebird, the Pacific Golden-Plover breeds in western Alaska and Siberia and winters on islands across the Pacific Ocean, through southeast Asia, to northeastern Africa. It is uncommon in North America, found breeding in Alaska, and migrating and wintering in small numbers along the Pacific Coast.

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Appearance

Shorebirds
Shorebirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized to large shorebird.
  • Legs moderately long.
  • Neck short.
  • Bill short.
  • Head large and rounded.
  • Golden and black speckled back.
  • In breeding plumage, black from face to lower belly.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to winter adult, but with light barring on chest, sides, and flanks, and more distinct yellow edges and spots on feathers of crown, back, and wings.

Range Map Help

Pacific Golden-Plover Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult breeding

    Pacific Golden-Plover

    Adult breeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Alaska, June 2000
  • Adult nonbreeding

    Pacific Golden-Plover

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Kauai, Hawaii, March 2000
  • Adult breeding

    Pacific Golden-Plover

    Adult breeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Alaska, June 2000

Similar Species

  • Extremely similar to American Golden-Plover. In breeding male, Pacific has white stripe extending along sides from face to tail, but the stripe extends only from the face to the chest in American. American has longer wings and shorter tertials that results in four, not three primaries extending beyond the tertials. Wings extend well beyond tip of tail in American. American has slightly shorter legs and bill. Pacific tends to be more golden on back in all plumages, but this is variable.
  • Black-bellied Plover is larger, with a larger bill, and it has white rump, white stripe in wing, and dark armpits in all plumages. In breeding plumage back is gray and black, not golden, and black extends only to belly, leaving undertail white. Juvenile similar, but is more gray and less golden (although some can be very yellowish brown), and shows less of a dark cap.
  • Very rare European Golden-Plover is slightly larger, shorter winged, and has white, not gray, linings under the wings. In breeding plumage the European Golden-Plover has a large white stripe down the side and white under the tail.