American Golden-Plover

Pluvialis dominica




Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to buff with black and brown spots

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with leaves, grass, and lichens.





American Golden-Plover: Medium-sized sandpiper with black face and underparts. Back is dark brown with yellow spots; has a white S-shaped mark along head and sides. Markings provide camouflage to blend in with tundra breeding grounds. Bill is black, thin, and short. Sexes are similar, but female has less black. Winter adult and juvenile are brown overall with darker upperparts and lack distinctive black-and-white markings.

Range and Habitat

American Golden-Plover: Among the widest ranging birds in the world, this species breeds on tundra from Alaska east to Baffin Island and migrates south over the Atlantic Ocean from Canadian Maritimes to South America; some birds winter on islands in Pacific and appear along west coast during migration. Preferred habitats include shores and prairies.

Breeding and Nesting

American Golden-Plover: Three to four black- and brown-spotted, white to buff eggs are arranged in a circle with narrow ends pointing to the center to help keep them warm. Incubation lasts 27 days and is carried out by both parents in turn; male by day, female at night. Nest is a scrape on the ground in tundra, lined with moss and leaves.

Foraging and Feeding

American Golden-Plover: Diet consists mainly of mosquitoes, butterflies, other insects, small mollusks, and crustaceans.


American Golden-Plover: Utters a shrill "ku-wheep" in flight.

Similar Species

American Golden-Plover: Pacific Golden-Plover has shorter bill, longer tertials, and less contrasting crown. In winter, Black-bellied Plover is similar but has black axillaries and white rump.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X