Pacific Golden-Plover – Profile | Facts | Migration | Flight | Traits

Pacific Golden-Plover

The Pacific golden plover, scientific name Pluvialis fulva, or Pacific golden-plover is a medium-sized plover. The genus name is pluvia, meaning “rain”. It was believed that golden plovers flocked when rain was imminent. The species name fulva is Latin and refers to the tawny color.

Pacific Golden-Plover profile

A ravishing shorebird, the Pacific Golden-Plover breeds in western Alaska and Siberia and winters on islands throughout the Pacific Ocean, by way of southeast Asia, to northeastern Africa.

It is unusual in North America, discovered breeding in Alaska, and migrating and wintering in small numbers alongside the Pacific Coast.


This bird is so much like American Golden-Plover that the 2 have been considered one species till 1993.

However, the birds can inform the distinction: the place the 2 varieties overlap in western Alaska, they seldom or by no means interbreed. Their migratory routes are strikingly totally different:

American Golden-Plover migrates to South America, whereas Pacific Golden-Plover flies from Alaska to islands within the Pacific and sometimes on to Australia, frequently overlaying over 2,000 miles in a single nonstop flight.

Pacific Golden-Plover Description

The 23–26 cm long breeding adult is noticed gold and black on the crown, and back on the wings. Its face and neck are black with a white border, and it has a black breast and a darkish rump.

The legs are black. In winter, the black is lost and the plover then has a yellowish face and breast, and white underparts.

Pacific Golden-Plovers have darkish brown upperparts, spangled with gold to pale yellow or white. A white stripe extends from the brow, over the eyes, to the wings. Breeding males are stable black from chin to under-tail coverts. Females are duller in shade.

They are related in look to American Golden-Plovers, however have shorter wings, brighter yellow markings on their upperparts, and principally white under-tail coverts and sides.

Non-breeding adults have yellow-edged upperparts and yellowish heads and necks. Juveniles have a golden solid to go and neck and noticed upperparts.

The distinction between these two species is just not simple. Be positive to seek the advice of excellent subject information.

Pacific Golden-Plover Habitat

Tundra (summertime); short-grass fields, mudflats, shores throughout the migration. During migration, typically on intensive areas of brief grass, flooded pastures, in addition to on mudflats, seashores.

In winter in Hawaii, typically forages on lawns. In western Alaska, the place the 2 golden-plovers overlaps in the summertime, the Pacific sometimes nests at decrease elevations than the American, on wetter tundra with taller vegetation.

Migrating Pacific Golden-Plovers are sometimes present in coastal habitats comparable to mudflats, estuaries, and open ocean seashores.

They nest on the Arctic and subarctic Alaskan tundra and should winter on islands within the Pacific Ocean as far south as Australia. Others go no farther for the winter than California seashores.


Pacific Golden-Plovers are territorial on breeding grounds, and a few people defend feeding territories on wintering grounds.

They are swift in flight, however are more generally seen roosting or foraging on the ground. Pacific Golden-Plovers unfold out whereas foraging. They are visible foragers and feed by operating and seizing prey.

Pacific Golden-Plover Diet

This wader forages for meals on tundra, fields, seashores, and tidal flats, often by sight. It eats bugs and crustaceans and a few berries.

Pacific Golden-Plovers feed on a wide range of invertebrates comparable to mollusks, crustaceans, and bugs. They additionally eat berries, leaves, seeds, and sometimes small vertebrates.

Mostly bugs, additionally mollusks, crustaceans, berries. On breeding grounds, feeds totally on bugs, together with beetles, flies, and others, add some berries.

In migration in open fields, eats a large number of bugs, together with grasshoppers, caterpillars. On shores, additionally feeds on small crustaceans and mollusks. During migration seasons, might eat many berries.

Feeding Behavior

Typically they stroll or run a couple of steps after which pause, then transfer ahead once more, pecking on the ground at any time when they spot one thing edible.


4. Pale buff to cinnamon, boldly blotched with black and brown, effectively camouflaged when seen in opposition to different tundra vegetation. Incubation is by each parent, about 25 days.

Male reportedly incubates by day, feminine at night. Young: Downy younger depart nest shortly after hatching. Both parents have a tendency younger, however younger discover all their very own meals. Age at first flight about 26-28 days.


Downy younger depart nest shortly after hatching. Both parents have a tendency younger, however younger discover all their very own meals. Age at first flight about 26-28 days.

Pacific Golden-Plover Breeding

Males carry out flight display over breeding territory by flying high, with exaggerated gradual, deep wingbeats, whereas giving a repeated, plaintive teee-chewee whistle.

Nest site is on the ground, on the dry ground typically surrounded by moist tundra. Nest (most likely constructed by male) is shallow despair in the tundra, lined with lichens, moss, grass, leaves.

The breeding habitat of Pacific golden plover is the Arctic tundra from northernmost Eurosiberia into western Alaska. It nests on the ground in a dry open space.

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Males might start territorial display flights the day of arrival on tundra nesting grounds. Pairs kind inside a couple of days. The male builds a shallow scrape nest lined with lichen in sites with more vegetation than these chosen by American Golden-Plovers.

The feminine lays 4 eggs, and each parent incubates. The male often incubates in the course of the day, the feminine at night.

Chicks are precocial and might feed themselves inside a couple of hours of hatching. Both parents have a tendency to the younger. Pacific Golden-Plovers have one brood per season.


Pacific Golden-Plovers might cover 2,000 miles in a single nonstop flight from Alaska to the Pacific Islands, or they could cease alongside the way in which.

Pacific Golden-Plovers and American Golden-Plovers overlap in time and placement throughout the migration, however, Pacifics are likely to migrate later.

Spring migration takes place primarily in April and May, and fall migration lasts from August by way of October. A number of people might not migrate.


Pacific Golden-Plovers have been hunted in Hawaii till 1941, however with subsequent safety, populations have recovered. Pacific Golden-Plovers don’t look threatened at the moment, though commercialized exploitation and habitat loss nonetheless happen in elements of their winter range.

Pacific Golden-Plover Facts

The Pacific Golden-Plover and the American Golden-Plover were thought of as subspecies throughout the identical species.

Where their breeding ranges overlap in western Alaska they nest in barely totally different habitats, have totally different display calls, and don’t interbreed, and at the moment are categorized as totally different species.

The winter range of the Pacific Golden-Plover extends throughout practically half of the earth’s circumference, from California to Hawaii, to Asia, to northeastern Africa.

Young Pacific Golden-Plovers are in a position to run quickly after hatching. The first-hatched chicks frequently forage close to the nest whereas the adult continues to incubate late-hatching eggs.

The oldest recorded Pacific Golden-Plover was a minimum of 21 years, Four months old when it was recaptured and rereleased throughout banding operations.

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