They prefer well-vegetated well-drained tundra, often on hillsides, ridges
or raised polygons. The nest is just a shallow scrape lined with lichens.
4 eggs are laid, incubated by both parents (26 days). Soon after hatching,
the chicks and parents move off to moist shrubby or grassy tundra. When
threatened, the parent distracts the predator from the nest or chicks by
pretending to have a broken wing. Both parents raise the young, but if the
brood is late, only by the male.
Asian/Asiatic/Eastern Golden Plover,
Rapang Kerinyut (Malay)
Golden Plovers are among the most numerous of waders that can be seen
in Sungei Buloh Nature Park during the migration season. They moult
mainly at their winter roost and so may arrive in Singapore with traces
of their beautiful breeding plumage, and don their breeding colours
just before they leave.
Pacific Golden Plovers eat mainly bivalves and other molluscs on their
wintering grounds; as well as worms, crustaceans, spiders. During
breeding season; berries are important, with snacks of seeds and leaves.
Pacific Golden Plovers find their food mainly by sight (as opposed
to probing in the ground with their bills). They forage in a peck-and-run
method; running quickly in an upright position, pausing to peck, then
running again. Their preferred foraging ground is intertidal mudflats.
Gregarious birds, Pacific Golden Plovers migrate, feed and roost in
large flocks: usually up to 50, but more at good feeding sites.
Pacific Golden Plovers breed in Siberian tundra and
in West Alaska in June-July. Males usually return to the same
nest site, even to the same spot. They form monogamous pairs.
Relying on their excellent camouflage to avoid predators, they
simply nest on the ground.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
Large (23-26cm); slender bill (2cm); white eyebrow;
golden-brown upperparts; feet grey; bill black.
Summer/breeding: upperparts become brighter gold; mottled
black and gold; face and rest of underparts black with
white band from forehead over brow down sides of the
breast to flanks. Winter/non-breeding: grey-brown with
yellow speckles; belly white.
Juvenile: As in winter plumage but paler; belly
indistinct dark bars.
Call: A loud tu-it
or keruit or kyew-eek.
In flight: Uniformly dark upperparts (no white
parts); narrow white wing bar. Underwing brownish-grey.
birds: Other Golden Plovers; but these are not
encountered in Singapore and thus the confusion is more
likely at their breeding site.
Rosair and Cottridge
in Singapore: Very common non-breeding winter visitor,
throughout the island and North and South offshore islands.
World distribution: Worldwide.
Classification: Family Charadriidae,
which includes stilts and lapwings. World 89 species,
Singapore 12 species. The Pacific Golden Plover was recently
separated from the Lesser/American Golden Plover (Pluvialis
dominica) that is found in the Americas. Although
the two share breeding grounds, they do not interbreed.
From the Order Charadiiformes.
Migration: Phenomenal long-distance
travellers, after breeding in the Arctic, these plovers migrate to spend
winter almost half way around the world (5,000-13,000km away one-way). Some
winter on tiny islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, a feat which requires
precise navigation. Alaskan breeders winter in Hawaii, Fiji, South Pacific
Islands, all the way to New Zealand. Siberian breeders migrate to Africa,
India, Indochina, Southeast Asia all the way to Australia. Most winter on
coastal mudflats, beaches, reefs. But they may also be found inland on short
grasslands (such as airfields) or around freshwater pools, lakes, rivers,
marshes, rice fields.
Status and threats: Like other waders,
Pacific Golden Plovers are threatened by habitat destruction and water pollution.
They are shy and easily scared off feeding sites by human disturbance. In
the past, they were hunted in India.
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 104: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 275-276: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p.63: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagrams, number of species).
- G W H Davidson
and Chew Yen Fook, "A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore", New Holland Publishers Ltd., 1995
(p. 33: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 116: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 69: habits, habitat, description,
status in Singapore, and lovely drawings of the birds).
- Peter Hayman (et.
al), "Shorebirds: An Identification Guide to the Waders of the
World", Christopher Helm, 1986 (p. 278-9: identification, distribution,
habits, movements, diagrams)
- David Rosair and
David Cottridge, "Photographic Guide to the Shorebirds of the
World", Facts on File, 1995 (p. 66: photos of adults-breeding
and non-breeding, and juvenile).
- Jonathan Elphick
(ed.), "Collin Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys
of the World's Birds", Harper Collins, 1995 (p.129: migration
route and distance).
- John Palmer (ed.),
"Exploring the Secrets of Nature", Reader's Digest,
1994 (p. 223: photo of Golden Plover nesting).
of the Birds of the World: Vol 3: Hoatzin to Auks", Lynx Edicions,
1996 (p. 423: identification, distribution map, habits, habitat, migration,