Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Pacific Golden Plover

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Pluvialis fulva | [UK] Pacific Golden Plover | [FR] Pluvier fauvem | [DE] Pazifik-Goldregenpfeifer | [ES] | [NL] Kleine Goudplevier


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Black underparts with narrow white flanking line, vent tends to be mostly white with scattering of black.
Very similar to Eurasian and American Golden Plover, but smaller, has longer legs and is yellower than apricaria, with brownish grey underwing, and wings clearly longer than tail. Female somewhat less black than male. Non-breeding adult has yellowish buff on breast, grading to whitish on belly and vent.

Listen to the sound of Pacific Golden Plover

[audio: Golden Plover.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 44 cm wingspan max.: 48 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 26 cm
incubation min.: 25 days incubation max.: 27 days
fledging min.: 30 days fledging max.: 27 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : North, also Alaska


Breeds in drier parts of typical tundra, but not on coastline, on shrub tundra, rarely forest tundra, and on stony well drained upland, with moss and lichens.
Winters in coastal areas, in fields sith short grass, prairies, ploughed land, salt-marshes, beaches and open sandflats and mudflats.
Young birds occur more frequently on mud by inland waters and tidal flats.


Breeding starts in June. Monogamous. High degree of site fidelity, especially so for males. Often breeding within 100 m of nest site of previous year, and sometimes n same nest cup. Nest on dry spots, on hummock, lichen, or moss tundra, nest is shallow scrape, lined with lichens. clutch 4 eggs, incubation 26 days by both sexes. Chick has black and bright yellow upperparts and white underparts. After hatching, chicks and parents move to moist shrubby or grassy tundra or patches with green moss. Chick tended by both parents.

Feeding habits

Normally insects, molluscs, worms, crustaceans and spiders, but berries particularly important on tundra occasionally seeds and leaves.
Feeds in typical plover style, also gleans and probes in mud, sand and pastures. Feeds alone or in flocks of 100 birds or more.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Pacific Golden Plover status Least Concern


Migratory, wintering across large area from parts of north-east Africa, Indian subcontinent, south-east Asia, Pacific islands to New Zealand, and some in southern California. Leaves breeding grounds late July and early August, reaching Africa August and early September (probably via Arabian peninsula), Hawaii August and New Zealand October. Departs winter quarters March to early May, reaching tundra in first half of June. Probably passes regularly through extreme north-east European Russia.

Distribution map

Pacific Golden Plover distribution range map

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