Pacific Golden-PloverPluvialis fulva

adult male, breeding
Tom Vezo/VIREO
adult female, breeding
Tom Vezo/VIREO
immature (1st winter)
Hanne & Jens Eriksen/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Joe Fuhrman/VIREO
adult, molting to breeding plumage
Martin Hale/VIREO
adult male, breeding
Arthur Morris/VIREO
Pacific Golden-Plover



9-11" (23-28 cm). A quail-sized plover. Similar to American Golden-Plover but more slender. In breeding plumage, has narrow white stripe along flanks and mottled black and white undertail coverts (American usually has all-black flanks and mainly black undertail coverts). In winter plumage, has buff (not white) eyebrow, warmer brown upperparts, buff (not grayish) underparts. Juvenile similar to American but buffier, with buff eyebrow.


A mellow quee-lee-lee.




Breeds on tundra; on migration, found on coastal beaches and mudflats.


Breeds along coast of Bering Sea in Alaska. Winters locally along Pacific Coast of California. Also in Asia.


The Pacific Golden-Plover is a long-distance migrant like the American Golden-Plover. Although some winter along the California coast, most migrate to islands in the South Pacific. The two birds were until recently considered races of a single species, but their breeding ranges overlap in western Alaska, and they do not interbreed.


3 or 4 buff eggs, spotted with brown, in a shallow depression lined with reindeer moss, usually on a ridge or other elevated spot in the tundra.

Similar Species

American Golden-Plover

9-11" (23-28 cm). A quail-sized plover.

adult, breeding

Black-bellied Plover

10-13" (25-33 cm). A quail-sized plover. Breeding adults gray, with flecks of light and dark above, black on face and breast, and white on belly.

adult male, breeding

Mountain Plover

8-9 1/2" (20-24 cm). A long-legged, sandy-brown plover. Breeding adult has black forecrown, white forehead, and thin black eye line.

adult male

Eurasian Dotterel

8-9" (20-23 cm). A chunky Arctic plover. Breeding adult brown above, with bold white eyebrow, white band across breast, and russet breast.


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