- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Charadriidae
During the breeding season, Pacific Golden-Plovers dazzle with gold-spangled feathers and a jet-black face and breast. These graceful, long-winged shorebirds breed on arctic tundra, usually in lower, wetter slopes than the closely related American Golden-Plover. Both species perform fluttery courtship flights, giving mellow calls. After breeding, Pacific Golden-Plovers head far out over the sea to spend winters as far away as Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Horn of Africa.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Pacific Golden-Plovers are easy to spot on their wintering grounds, particularly in Hawaii where they are at home in parks and lawns. On the U.S. mainland, they are easy to find if you can visit their remote breeding grounds, such as near Nome, Alaska. They are scarce on migration along the West Coast. Look for the slim bill and capped appearance to separate from Black-bellied Plover; and for the longer white “scarf” and spotted undertail to separate from breeding American Golden-Plover.
- Chorlito Dorado Siberiano (Spanish)
- Pluvier fauve (French)
- Cool Facts
- Pacific Golden-Plovers drive most other shorebird species out of their breeding territories, but they tolerate Dunlins, which often stand close to golden-plovers, call with them, and even fly with them. Reflecting this curious relationship, the Icelandic name for the Dunlin translates as “plover-slave,” and in nineteenth-century England, the Dunlin was called the “plover’s page.”
- The migration of the Pacific Golden-Plover is remarkable: from the Arctic breeding grounds, many travel over 8,000 miles to wintering grounds in the Pacific and Indian Oceans!
- 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 forage near the nest while the adult continues to incubate late-hatching eggs.
- The Pacific Golden-Plover and the American Golden-Plover were once considered subspecies of the same species. However, where their breeding ranges overlap in western Alaska, they nest in slightly different habitats, have different display calls, and do not interbreed. They are now classified as different species.
- The oldest recorded Pacific Golden-Plover was at least 21 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured during banding operations.