American Golden Plover / Black-bellied Plover

Comparison Photos © Bill Schmoker

All photographs copyrighted by the author. Publication-quality 300dpi versions and prints of many of the images contained in this web site are available- inquiries welcomed- email bill@schmoker.org
Juvenile American Golden-Plover (AMGP) (Jackson Reservoir, Morgan County, Colorado, 9/03.)
Juvenile Black-bellied Plover (BBPL) (Barr Lake, Adams County, Colorado, 9/03.)
The juvenile AMGP (left) shows a darker cap, slightly smaller bill, a more defined "ear" spot, and slightly longer wing than the juvenile BBPL (right.)
To me, the AMGP (left) is a little more warm-toned. Also, notice the breast pattern of defined light spots on a warm background on the AMGP versus what look more like dark streaks on a pale background in the breast of the BBPL (right.)
Of course, if the birds cooperate by flying or lifting their wings, BBPL (right) can be distinguished from Golden-Plovers (AMGP at left) by the dark "armpit" formed by the black axillaries.
If you only see the upper surfaces, the BBPL's white tail and prominent white wing stripe (right) distinguish it from Golden-Plovers' dark tail and weak wing stripe (AMGP, left.)
All photographs copyrighted by the author. Publication-quality 300dpi versions and prints of many of the images contained in this web site are available- inquiries welcomed- email bill@schmoker.org