Pluvialis fulva, Pacific Golden Plover, Cerek kernyut

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Pluvialis fulva, Pacific Golden Plover, Cerek kernyut


PacificGolden 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.
plover on its nest

Breeding: 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.

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.

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.

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