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Bird name:

Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria




Plovers (Charadriidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Tundra, Moorland, Heathland

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Mates for life

Egg Colour:

Smooth, slightly glossy and sandy, pale yellowish or red-brown with black and brown spots and blotches.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

27 - 31

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Shallow scrape lined with moss and plants.

Nest Location:

On the ground in scrub vegetation.




Golden Plover: A pigeon-sized shorebird with golden-brown upperparts mottled with black and white. Black on the face, throat, breast, and belly bordered by white. Also has white on vent and underwings, black flight feathers with white markings, and black bill. Fast, direct flight. Female like male but with less black on underparts. Winter adults and juveniles are similar and have upperparts that are light brown with black mottling, light brown with fine streaks on face and breast, and white belly and vent.

Range and Habitat

Golden Plover: Summer breeder and winter visitor. Breeding areas include the Highlands of Scotland, the Western and Northern Isles, northern England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. In winter they move to lowland areas across England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland; found on moors, meadows and fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Golden Plover: Lifelong monogamous pair bonding. Male exhibits slow "butterfly" flight during courtship and as territorial display in defence of nest. Male builds nest, a shallow scrape lined with vegetation and moss. Female assists with nest; both incubate eggs and care for newly hatched chicks.

Foraging and Feeding

Golden Plover: Feeds in small flocks during the breeding season, or huge flocks in winter. Eats beetles, earthworms, lepidopteran larvae, grasshoppers, snails, crustaceans. Also eats some berries, seeds and grass. Feeds extensively at night.


Golden Plover: Melancholy long whistle.

Similar Species

Golden Plover: The Grey Plover has conspicuous black axillaries (armpits) that contrast starkly with the white underwing and rump. It also is bulkier, with longer legs and a thicker bill.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX