American Golden Plover

A medium sized shorebird with mottled wings of gold, black, and white. Distinct white head stripe and neck
American Golden-Plover male on its breeding territory near Anaktuvuk Pass.

NPS/Jared Hughey

 

Pluvialis dominica
Family: Charadriidae

“The Golden Plover is an aristocrat among birds. Everything about it is distinctive. The jet black breast and belly, the golden yellow back and striking head markings of the breeding plumage would in themselves be enough to set it apart in any assemblage of its relatives. In addition it has rather stately and dignified movements in contrast to the darting hasty nervousness of so many shorebirds whether feeding, migrating or on the breeding grounds. The downy chicks are also among the loveliest of all young birds, their yellow backs being startlingly different from the usual blacks, browns and grays affected by most newly hatched youngsters of the shorebird clan.” –Gabrielson and Lincoln (1959), The Birds of Alaska

The American Golden-Plover is a conspicuous shorebird on the tundra. Similar in appearance to Black-bellied Plover, and especially Pacific Golden-Plover, it is identified from Pacific Golden-Plover (unrecorded in Gates of the Arctic) by relative proportions (bill, legs, and primary projection) and, in breeding (alternate) plumage, the extent of white on the sides of the breast. The American Golden-Plover’s sleek shape and long wings are clues as to its marathon migration between the North American Arctic and the South American Pampas and Campos.
 
 
map showing the abundance of American Golden Plovers in the Americas
American Golden-Plover abundance in the Americas.

Fink, D., T. Auer, A. Johnston, M. Strimas-Mackey, O. Robinson, S. Ligocki, W. Hochachka, C. Wood, I. Davies, M. Iliff, L. Seitz. 2020. eBird Status and Trends, Data Version: 2019; Released: 2020. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.

 

References

Fink, D., T. Auer, A. Johnston, M. Strimas-Mackey, O. Robinson, S. Ligocki, W. Hochachka, C. Wood, I. Davies, M. Iliff, L. Seitz. 2020. eBird Status and Trends, Data Version: 2019; Released: 2020. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. https://doi.org/10.2173/ebirdst.2019

Johnson, O. W., P. G. Connors, and P. Pyle (2020). American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi-org.arlis.idm.oclc.org/10.2173/bow.amgplo.01

Warnock, N. 2017. The Alaska WatchList 2017. Audubon Alaska, Anchorage, AK 99501.
 

Last updated: April 29, 2021

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