Friday, September 30, 2011

American Golden-Plovers

Thousands upon thousands of Killdeer have converged on this area, forming huge flocks.  A small flock of 18 birds landed in this field - some shorebirds that were likely plovers but weren't Killdeer.

The prairie soil around here is Dark Brown Chernozemic without much organic matter.  Decades of chemical-based farming has pretty much destroyed the soil and now many of the plowed fields are this clumpy grey.  I digress....

These juvenile American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica)  blend right in, don't they?

A slightly better view.

Frankly, these Am. Golden-Plovers look like the juveniles of the Black-belled Plovers, another common migrant - except the BBPLs have black axilliary (armpit) feathers in all plumage phases.  This bunch had light coloured axillaries.  Ergo, AGPL - the other similar plover species likely to be found here. (Qualifier, the Pacific Golden-Plover juveniles are almost identifical, but hey...)

For more info about American Golden-Plovers, go to All About Birds at 


  1. I know what your saying about chemical farming. And then much of our soil has headed down to the Gulf of Mexico due to erosion.
    I wish I got to see more shorebirds with very little standing water in our county I rarely see any other than the occasional killdeer. And if I did it's doubtful I'd be able to identify any. Oh well....