Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva

Pacific Golden-Plovers winter in the South Pacific, and return to the shores of western Alaska every spring. This long open water flight brings a significant portion of the population through the Bering Sea, so it is no surprise that this attractive plover is an uncommon spring and common fall migrant in the Pribilof Islands. The spring migration through Saint Paul begins as early as late April and extends through the first week of June. Southbound birds begin to appear in the middle of July, and juveniles continue to pass by through at least the middle of October. On a typical year a few dozen birds will be detected in the spring, and a few hundred in fall. Often large flocks will form in fall in the fruiting crowberry fields on the island’s West side. In spring most individuals are found around the margins of lakes, or in the short grass areas around seal colonies (especially Northeast Point). Although unlikely it is worth checking through flocks of Golden-Plovers in search for American Golden-Plover. American’s are daintier, with thinner bills, longer primary projection and shorter legs.