Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Eurasian Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)


French: Pluvier doré German: Goldregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlito dorado europeo
Other common names: European Golden Plover

Charadrius apricarius


, 1758,



Owing to considerable variation within local populations and no apparent differences in measurements, validity of subspecific division regularly debated. Birds of British Is to N Germany formerly considered a separate race, oreophilos. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. altifrons (C. L. Brehm, 1831) – EC Greenland, Iceland and Faeroes to N Fennoscandia, thence E to Taymyr Peninsula.
  • P. a. apricaria (Linnaeus, 1758) – N British Is through W Germany, Denmark and S Fennoscandia to Baltic States.
  • Winters from British Is through Mediterranean to S Caspian Sea.

    Descriptive notes

    26–29 cm; 140–312 g; wingspan 67–76 cm. Largest and bulkiest of golden plovers, with underwing white, as opposed to brownish grey; also differs in shape and... read more


    Most-frequently heard call away from breeding grounds a mellow, drawn-out, pure whistle, “puuuu”,... read more


    Race altifrons breeds in humid moss, moss-and-lichen and hummock tundra, shrub tundra,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly invertebrate prey, especially beetles (including pupae and larvae) and earthworms; sometimes plant material, e.g. berries, seeds and... read more


    Lays late Mar to mid May in Britain, mid May to late Jul further N; also generally earlier at lower altitudes. Monogamous, with lifelong... read more


    Migratory, but only partially so in Britain and Ireland, and also well known for cold spell-induced... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Breeding population of race apricaria estimated at 1,800,000 birds (1994), and is declining; no overall population estimates... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Eurasian Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).