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European golden plover


Common name European golden plover
Scientific name Pluvialis apricaria
Type Farmland birds
Status Wintering

Mid-sized wader bird (approx 28 cm or 11 in), with a rounded body and a very short bill. Summer plumage with black underparts and a white border. Upperparts of golden tones with a design of darker dots. Head and nape similar to the back. More discreet winter plumage. The white and black disappears and the golden colour becomes more homogeneous with a more ocher and dull tone.


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

Species linked to grass meadows and open inland fields in the Arctic tundra. In winter, it uses inland wetlands, fertile plains and farmlands, usually rainfed, always in open areas. Also in the intertidal zone and open areas close to beaches.

How it lives

Wintering bird in the province of Malaga. It breeds at the beginning of May. Nest on the ground. The European Golden Plover lays 3 to 5 eggs. Territorial when breeding and gregarious during the wintering period. It consumes invertebrates, from insects to earthworms, that it captures in the mud of inland fields, probing the soil at a shallow depth with its short bill.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Species that can be observed especially in fallows and cereal farmlands of the fertile plain of Antequera. Small flocks can be located in orchards of the low fertile plains and mouths of the Guadalhorce and Vélez rivers. There are also watchings at the beaches of the Costa del Sol, such as Guadalmina.

Curious facts

Plovers are inland waders that usually coexist in the province with the Northern Lapwing in the same wintering areas. They are great travelers and birds with a reputation for being unintelligent. The Spanish expression "cabeza de chorlito" ("plover head" or "bird head") refers to people who lack concentration, who do not learn from their mistakes or are unintelligent. But the truth is that the brains of birds (including plovers) have a greater density of neurons than that of primates, humans among them.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration