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Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: CHARADRIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Pacific Golden-Plover Photo

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.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
9.1–10.2 in
23–26 cm
Weight
3.6–3.8 oz
102–108 g
Other Names
  • Pacific Golden Plover, Asiatic Golden-Plover, Golden Plover (in part), American Golden Plover (in part), Lesser Golden-Plover (in part)
  • Pluvier doré du Pacifique, Pluvier fauve (French)
  • Chorlito siberiano (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Pacific Golden-Plover and the American Golden-Plover used to be considered subspecies within the same species. Where their breeding ranges overlap in western Alaska they nest in slightly different habitats, have different display calls, and do not interbreed, and are now classified as different species. 
  • The winter range of the Pacific Golden-Plover extends across nearly half of the earth's circumference, from California, to Hawaii, to Asia, to northeastern Africa.
  • Young Pacific Golden-Plovers are able to run soon after hatching. The first-hatched chicks regularly forage near the nest while the adult continues to incubate late-hatching eggs.
  • The oldest recorded Pacific Golden-Plover was at least 21 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations.

Habitat


Grassland

Breeds on Arctic tundra, especially in vegetation in low areas with few rocks. Winters in cultivated fields, pastures, salt marshes, airports, parks, lawns, golf courses, and clearings in wooded areas. On migration found in prairie, pastures, tilled farmland, golf courses, airports, mudflats, shorelines, and beaches.

Food


Insects

Invertebrates, berries, leaves, and seeds.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
4 eggs
Egg Description
White to buff, heavily spotted and splotched with dark brown and black.
Nest Description

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

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Feeds 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.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on population trends of Pacific Golden-Plover, and no evidence of threats to populations. A 2012 study estimates a North American breeding population in Alaska of 42,500 birds. The species is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.

Credits

  • Johnson, O. W., and P. G. Connors. 1996. American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva). In The Birds of North America, No. 201-202 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Andres, B.A., P.A. Smith, R.I.G. Morrison, C.L. Gratto-Trevor, S.C. Brown, and C.A. Friis. 2012. Population estimates of North American Shorebirds, 2012. Wader Study Group Bulletin 119:178–194. Available from the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan website.
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
  • USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. Longevity records of North American Birds.

Range Map Help

Pacific Golden-Plover Range Map
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