Pacific Golden Plovers

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, back and 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, Eurasian and American. Pacific Golden Plover is smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than Eurasian Golden Plover, Pluvialis apricaria, which also has white axillary (armpit) feathers.

It is more similar to American Golden Plover, Pluvialis dominica, with which it was once considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) (as “Lesser Golden Plover”, see Sangster et al., 2002).

The Pacific Golden Plover is slimmer than the American species, has a shorter primary projection, and longer legs, and is usually yellower on the back.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) - Breeding Adult


The breeding habitat of Pacific Golden Plover is arctic tundra from northernmost Asia into western Alaska. They nest on the ground in a dry open area.

It is migratory and winters in south Asia and Australasia. A few winter in California and Hawaii, USA. This wader is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

Diet / Feeding

This bird forages for food on tundra, fields, beaches and tidal flats, usually by sight. It eats insects and crustaceans and some berries.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Photo of author

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