Pacific Golden-Plover: Medium plover, yellow-spotted, dark brown back, black face, and black underparts with white-mottled flanks; a white S-shaped mark extends from above the eye to along sides. Bill is black, thin, and short. Black legs, feet. Swift direct flight with rapid, steady wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Pacific Golden-Plover: Breeds from northern Siberia to western Alaska. Winters from southern Asia to Pacific islands, but a few occur on the west coast and in central California. Preferred habitats include coastal mudflats and lagoons, sandy beaches, ploughed fields and short grasslands.
The Pacific Golden-Plover was once considered conspecific with the American Golden Plover under the name Lesser Golden Plover.
After breeding in the Arctic, they migrate to spend winter almost half way around the world. Some winter on tiny islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, a feat which requires precise navigation.
The name plover comes from the French word meaning "the rain bird". In Europe, flocks of migratory plovers historically arrived at the beginning of the autumn rainy season.
A group of plovers has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "congregation", "deceit", "ponderance" and "wing" of plovers.
The Pacific Golden-Plover has an estimated global range of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 square kilometers. This bird can be found across a wide range of locations including Australia, many parts of Asia, Micronesia and vagrant populations in the Middle East, Caribbean, Europe and Africa among others. Choice of habitat is as varied as geographic range and includes forests and shrublands, grasslands and arable lands, and marine and coastal environments. The global population of this species is estimated to be around 170,000 to 220,000 individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Pacific Golden-Plover have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.