AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER

AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER(Pluvialis dominica)
DESCRIPTION: The American Golden Plover is a shorebird. The breeding male has black under parts, and medium brown upper parts with mottled white. The black plumage is surrounded by a continuous white band starting on each side of the breast, going up towards the nape and ending up on the frontal part of the head above the bill. The bill and legs are black. In non-breeding plumage the black is replaced by grey-brown, and the white lining is almost indiscernible. Non-breeding adults have a brown bill and brown legs and feet. Sexes are similar. This bird is around 26 cm (10 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Pluvialis-dominica
NAME: Both the English name ‘Plover’ and the Latin genus name ‘Pluvialis’  come from Latin ‘pluvia’ – rain. It was thought that these birds were somehow associated with rain. The name ‘golden’ refers to the bird color, and ‘dominica’ refers to the location (St. Domingo) where the first specimen was identified.
HABITAT:  This plover species is found inland on grassland, mudflats, golf courses and parks in addition to the expected ‘shore’ habitat of a typical plover.
DIET: Mixed diet of invertebrates and vegetation such as seeds and berries.
NESTING: The nest is a well camouflaged scrape on the ground, lined with plant material. About four creamy eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. The chicks can feed themselves soon after birth, but both parents care for them.
DISTRIBUTION:  It is a long distance traveler for its migration, from its breeding grounds in the Arctic to its wintering grounds in South America. It flies south offshore in the fall, but inland when it comes back in the spring.
ON PEI: The American golden plover does not breed on Prince Edward Island. Its sightings on the island range from ‘occasional’ to ‘very common’, depending on the seasons and the years of observation.
CONSERVATION: This bird was shot in the tens of thousands in the 19th century, and its population levels are still being impacted by those past hunting practices. New threats now include habitat loss on its wintering grounds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Pacific Golden Plover (at some point was considered the same species), European (or Eurasian) Golden Plover Black-bellied (or Grey) Plover.
REFERENCES: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Golden-Plover/id
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/363/_/American_Golden-Plover.aspx
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-golden-plover
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_golden_plover
https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/american-golden-plover
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/american-golden-plover (Missouri Department of Conservation)

American Golden Plover, breeding male - Churchill, MB - 2017 - Francesco Veronesi
American Golden Plover, breeding male – Churchill, MB – 2017 – Francesco Veronesi
American Golden Plover - Little Creve Coeur, Missouri - Apr. 16, 2016 - Andy Reago & Chrissy McCLarren
American Golden Plover – Little Creve Coeur, Missouri – Apr. 16, 2016 – Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren

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