Birds – Golden Plovers

Another considerable genus of Plovers is Charadrius, in which the inner secondaries are very long and pointed, the plumage of the under parts uniform black in the summer dress and the upper parts speckled with golden yellow at all seasons; there is no hind toe. Of these the Golden Plover (C. apricarius) is one of the best known. It is a handsome bird, eleven inches in length, with the upper parts grayish black spotted with bright ochre-yellow, the black under parts being set off by a white line which runs through the eye and down the neck to the flanks; in winter the under parts are white. It is found in summer throughout Europe and northern Asia and in winter in northern Africa and India; it also breeds in Greenland. It frequents the moors and open places in summer, and in fall unites in flocks, often of some size. It is much esteemed for food and has been so persecuted that in many localities it is now rare or even entirely exterminated. Its habits are those of Plovers in general. The American Golden Plover (C. dominicus) is very similar, but has the axillars and under wing-coverts smoky gray instead of white. It breeds in Arctic America and in winter migrates southward over practically the whole of. North and South America. A form with relatively shorter wings and with the golden spots of the upper parts larger (C. d. fulvus) breeds in northern Asia and Alaska, and goes in winter through India, China, etc., to Australia and Polynesia.