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American Golden-Plover

Silhouette PloversPlovers
American Golden-PloverPluvialis dominica
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Charadriidae

Basic Description

An American Golden-Plover in breeding plumage, with its simple black-and-white body set off by shimmering gold-flecked wings, can rival any shorebird for sheer beauty. In the nonbreeding season they are a more subdued, speckled brown with a pale eyebrow. These trim, slender-billed shorebirds hunt in tundra, grasslands, and fields by running a short distance and then stopping abruptly to look for insects and other small prey. On their arctic breeding grounds, male American Golden-Plovers give a complex “butterfly” flight display accompanied by a rhythmic song.

More ID Info
image of range map for American Golden-PloverRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

For most North American birders, American Golden-Plovers are birds seen on migration, especially in the center of the continent. Look for them on prairie and farm fields; plowed or harvested potato fields and sod fields can attract large numbers of shorebirds including golden-plovers. Golden-plovers can easily disappear in a large field, so it’s a good idea to bring along (or borrow) a spotting scope to scan beyond binocular range. Look for this species’ petite bill, darker crown, and lack of black “armpits” to distinguish it from the similar Black-bellied Plover.

Other Names

  • Chorlito Dorado Americano (Spanish)
  • Pluvier bronzé (French)
  • Cool Facts

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