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American Golden Plover - Pluvialis dominica

American Golden Plover

Classification

 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Charadriidae
 Genus: Pluvialis
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern

Description

american golden ploverThe American golden plover is a medium-sized bird. It is 9-11 inches in length with a wingspan of 22 inches. It has long legs; a short, pointed black bill; and a small, round head. Its wings extend beyond its tail when they are folded. It has a black and golden-yellow speckled back and a grayish-brown breast, neck, and sides. During breeding season, its breast, face, throat, and belly are brownish-black, and it has a white stripe running from its forehead down the back and sides of its neck. Males and females look similar, but the male is more brightly colored. The American golden plover looks similar to the black-bellied plover, but the American golden plover doesn't have a white rump or wing stripe.

Range

MapThe American golden plover breeds from western Alaska across northern Canada to Baffin Island, south to northern British Columbia, Canada and northern Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. It winters in central and southern South America. The American golden plover is also found in Siberia

Habitat

american golden ploverThe American golden plover breeds on the Arctic tundra. It winters in grasslands. During migration, it can be found in prairies, fields and pastures, mudflats, shorelines, and beaches.

Diet

The American golden plover eats flying insects, worms, spiders, berries, and seeds. It probes with its bill for food and also chases its prey.

Life Cycle

american golden plover The male builds a scrape on the ground and lines it with moss, lichen, leaves, and dried grass. The female lays 3-4 eggs, and both the male and the female incubate the eggs for 26-27 days. The chicks are precocial - they walk and feed themselves shortly after birth. Both parents care for the chicks until they fledge at 22 days. Male and female pairs often mate for more than one year.

Behavior

american golden plover The American golden plover migrates in a circle! In the late summer, the American golden plover migrates up to 2,500 miles from the Arctic to South America, flying over the Atlantic Ocean. In the spring, it returns to the Arctic, but instead of flying back over the Atlantic, it flies over the Great Plains!
 
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Bernabe Lopez-Lanus cc logo