Male Golden Plover

Golden Plover

Scientific name: Pluvialis apricaria

Did you know: The Golden Plover, a bird with medium size, is known for its swift, twinkling wingbeats and large winter flocks.

What Do Golden Plovers Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Golden Plovers are a marvel with their striking black and gold plumage during summer. In winter, they don a subtler attire of white and light brown. 

Recognisable by their upright stance, they run in quick bursts, an adaptation to their wary nature.

Differences Between Male And Female Golden Plovers

Male Golden Plovers sport a striking black belly and breast set against a golden back in breeding plumage. 

Females, while similar in pattern, may have less extensive black markings and a brownish tinge on their underparts.

What Do Golden Plovers Eat?

Primarily, Golden Plovers feed on worms, beetles, and various insects, showcasing a diet that supports their energetic lifestyle.

Where Do Golden Plovers Live? (Including Migration Info)

During summer, Golden Plovers are birds of the uplands across the UK, especially in Scotland. Winter sees them forming large flocks in lowland areas throughout Britain and Ireland, often mingling with Lapwings on farmlands. 

Notable wintering areas include the Humber Estuary, East Anglia, and the Somerset Levels.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Golden Plovers)

Golden Plovers are recognised by their mournful fluty call, a hallmark of the UK’s wild uplands. This call transforms in winter, where their social nature is echoed in the calls exchanged within large flocks.

Fun Golden Plover Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Golden Plovers can change their plumage seasonally, from a dazzling gold and black to a more camouflaged brown and white.
  • They prefer to run rather than fly, though they can take off rapidly if startled.
  • In winter, they can be seen in large, impressive flocks, a fantastic sight for birdwatchers.
  • Their call is unique and often heard in the quiet of the uplands.
  • Golden Plovers are a crucial part of upland ecosystems, playing a role in controlling insect populations.

Facts About The Golden Plover

Diet: Worms, beetles and insects.
Bird Family: Plovers
Length: 26-29cm
Wingspan: 67-76cm
Weight: 160-280g
Scientific Name: Pluvialis apricaria

The Golden Plover Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Golden Plover Images

Male Golden Plover Male
Female Golden Plover Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile