home     galleries     new     equipment     links     about    contact

American golden-plover        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The three species of golden-plovers are all famous as world travelers, migrating between their Arctic breeding grounds and distant wintering sites (some as far away as the southern hemisphere).   These are American golden-plovers (identifiable from their long wings and relatively small amount of white on the sides).   In the continental US, these elegant birds are seen mainly during their long migrations between their Arctic breeding grounds and their winter range in South America.  They like drier patches of tundra and lay their four large eggs directly on the ground.  The male in the two upper photos is incubating in a patch of flowers near Churchill, Manitoba.  The others, also near nests (below) were on the coastal tundra near Barrow, Alaska.   Females (below, left) are slightly less clearly marked than males.
       In winter, American golden-plovers molt into a much more subdued plumage that can be confused with that of the similar Pacific golden-plover and the larger black-bellied plover.

  • Canon 10D or 1D4; 500 mm f4 IS + 1.4X converter or 800 mm IS + 1.4X converter, some with fill-in flash (2003, 2011)