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File:Pluvialis diversity.png
All species of Pluvialis.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Aequorlitornithes
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Pluvialidae
MacGillivray, 1852
Genus: Pluvialis
Brisson, 1760

Golden-plovers, Pluvialis is a genus of plovers, a group of wading birds. There are four species which breed in the temperate or Arctic Northern Hemisphere.


The largest of the North American plovers, at 25–29 cm (9.8–11.4 in),[1] with weights of 100–395 g (3.5–13.9 oz)[2][3] and wingpans of 60–83 cm (24–33 in);[2][3] members of this tundra-breeding genus are plump and tall.[1] Their breeding plumage is impressive: black bellies, less so in females, with white- or gold-spangled upperparts.[1] Their basic (winter) plumage is dull, usually greyish or dingy brown.[1]

In breeding plumage, they all have largely black underparts, and golden or silvery upperparts. They have relatively short bills and feed mainly on insects, worms or other invertebrates, depending on habitat, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups. They hunt by sight, rather than by feel as do longer-billed waders.


They feed in the typical plover fashion and usually fly and roost in flocks.[1] The Pacific Golden-Plover is a powerful flier known for its long, transoceanic migrations.[1]


The golden-plovers are closely related to stilts, avocets, oystercatchers, and ibisbill (Ericson et al., 2003a; Baker et al., 2007; Fain and Houde, 2007).[4][5][6]

The American and Pacific Golden Plovers were formerly considered conspecific as "Lesser Golden Plover" (Sangster et al., 2002).[7]


1 genus, 4 species


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dunn, Jon L. and Alderfer, Jonathan (2011). National Geographic Completely Birds of North America. National Geographic Society. ISBN 9781426213731. 
  2. ^ a b Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2016). Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 July 2016).M
  3. ^ a b Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2016). Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 6 July 2016).
  4. ^ Ericson, P.G.P., I. Envall, M. Irestadt, and J.A. Norman (2003a), Inter-familial relationships of the shorebirds (Aves: Charadriiformes) based on nuclear DNA sequence data, BMC Evol. Biol. 3:16.
  5. ^ Baker, A.J., S.L. Pereira, and T.A. Paton (2007), Phylogenetic relationships and divergence times of Charadriiformes genera: multigene evidence for the Cretaceous origin of at least 14 clades of shorebirds, Biol. Lett. 3, 205-209.
  6. ^ Fain, M.G., and P. Houde (2007), Multilocus perspectives on the monophyly and phylogeny of the order Charadriiformes, BMC Evol. Biol. 7:35.
  7. ^ Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002): Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x PDF fulltext

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