Pacific golden plover
|Pacific golden plover|
|In breeding plumage at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska|
|In non-breeding plumage at Laem Pak Bia, Thailand|
The Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva) is a medium-sized plover.
The 23–26 cm long breeding adult is spotted 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 dark rump. The legs are black. In winter, the black is lost and the plover then has a yellowish face and breast, and white underparts.
It is similar to two other golden plovers: the Eurasian and American plovers. The Pacific golden plover is smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than the European golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria, which also has white axillary (armpit) feathers. Overall, the Pacific golden plover is found to be more similar to the American golden plover, Pluvialis dominica, with which it was once considered conspecific (as "lesser golden plover", see Sangster et al., 2002). The Pacific golden plover is slimmer than the American species, has a shorter primary projection, longer legs, and is usually found to have more yellow on the back.
The breeding habitat of Pacific golden plover is the Arctic tundra from northernmost Asia into western Alaska. It nests on the ground in a dry open area.
- Hayman, Marchant and Prater, Shorebirds ISBN 0-395-37903-2
- Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002): Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x PDF fulltext
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