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The Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) is a migratory medium-sized plover.

When in full breeding plumage, it is a sight to witness with the upper parts of the bird being a patchwork of golden, buff and black feathers and the underparts are black with white flecking on the tail. There is a continuous white flank line that separates the upper and underparts, that run from above the eye back tot he tail. When not breeding, the feathers are buff brown with duller golden brown and white spots. It has a white eyebrow and the underparts are brown to light grey.

The genus Pluvialis is Latin, from pluvia, “rain”, whilst the species fulva is Latin and refers to “tawny”. It is believed that Golden Plovers would flocked when rain was imminent.

A wader, it can be seen foraging for insects, crustacean and berries among the tundra, beaches and tidal flats.

It is found breeding on the Arctic tundra in western Alaska. It then spends the winters in South America and islands of the Pacific Ocean to India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia, especially seen along the coastline.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Genus: Pluvialis
  • Species: P. fulva
  • Binomial name: Pluvialis fulva