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American Golden-Plover Life History


Habitat GrasslandsBreeds on Arctic tundra, especially in low vegetation on rocky slopes. Winters in grazed grasslands. On migration found in prairie, pastures, tilled farmland, golf courses, airports, mudflats, shorelines, and beaches.Back to top


Food Aquatic invertebratesInvertebrates, berries, leaves, and seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Scrape in ground, lined with lichens, dry grass, or leaves.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:3-5 eggs
Number of Broods:1 brood
Egg Length:1.8-2.0 in (4.44-5.21 cm)
Egg Width:1.3-1.4 in (3.29-3.53 cm)
Incubation Period:24-27 days
Egg Description:White to buff, heavily spotted and splotched with dark brown and black.
Condition at Hatching:Covered with down and able to walk soon after hatching. Feed themselves within one day.
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Behavior ProbingFeeds in short vegetation or open areas. Moves by stop-run-stop, scanning and capturing prey at stops. Captures prey by single peck or series of pecks.Back to top


Conservation DecliningThis species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. Market hunting in 19th and early 20th centuries caused major decline in American Golden-Plover numbers. One estimate of a single day's kill near New Orleans was 48,000. Population rebounded after hunting ended.Back to top


Johnson, Oscar W., Peter G. Connors and Peter Pyle. (2018). American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), version 3.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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