[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Pluvialis dominica | [UK] American Golden Plover | [FR] Pluvier bronzé | [DE] Amerikanischer Goldregenpfeifer | [ES] Chorlito dorado americano | [IT] Piviere dorato minore | [NL] Amerikaanse Goudplevier

Amerikaanse Goudplevier determination

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The American Golden-Plover is shorter-legged, but longer-winged. Its wings extend distinctively beyond its tail while the Pacific Golden-Plover's wings usually reach just to the tip of the tail. The Pacific Golden-Plover us usually brighter-marked, with its upper-parts sprinkled with bright yellow flecks. The American Golden-Plover is similar, with duller markings.

Migration is not a staged event as with other shorebirds. Adults may leave their northern breeding grounds as early as June while juveniles can linger as late as October before departing. Arrival back to the breeding grounds is influenced by latitude and annual variations in snowmelt, with the earliest arrivals (in the southern part of their range) in late April and the latest (in the northern reaches) by the end of June. This bird is usually found nesting in sparse, low vegetation on higher, well-drained rocky slopes. Males are highly territorial and defend large areas with help from their mates.

The vast breeding range of this species is yet to be clearly outlined, owing to the extremely remote, rugged and nearly inaccessible nature of much of the terrain. The main breeding range extends from northeast Manitoba across most of the Northwest Territories, south through the Yukon to northwest British Columbia, west through north and central Alaska including the Seward Peninsula, and then south along Norton Sound extending across the watershed area of the Pikmiktalik and Andreafsky Rivers. Cape Romanzof, the Askinuk Mountains and the Lake Iliamna/Lake Clark regions are also included, and there is an isolated breeding ground in Cape Henrietta Maria in northern Ontario. The principal winter range for this species is the pampas grasslands of eastern central Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil. Suitable habitat in this area has been dramatically reduced to accommodate human interests, notably industrial agriculture and cattle ranching.

Food items include terrestrial invertebrates, berries, leaves and seeds as well as a few freshwater and marine invertebrates. This plover may be capable of maintaining seeds in its digestive tract to help it survive long migratory flights.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 3,600,000 km˛. It has a large global population estimated to be 150,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Within a few days of arrival on nesting grounds, males begin territorial display flights, and pairing takes place. Males produce a nest scrape and line the nest with lichen. American Golden-Plover nests are located on dry, open tundra. Females lay four eggs. Males usually incubate during the day, and females incubate at night. Chicks are extremely precocial and can feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. Both parents tend the young. American Golden-Plovers have a maximum of one brood per season.

Migratory, wintering in South America, from Bolivia south to Patagonia; many make loop migration, since large proportion of juveniles move south through North American interior during September and early October, while others, and all adults, cross Canada to Hudson and James Bays, thence into western Atlantic via New England and south to northern South America, arriving northern Argentina from late August into November. Return passage for all birds is through Central America, across Gulf of Mexico, and north along Mississippi-Missouri valley, leaving early February and arriving in tundra from late May and early June