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Plover, Black-bellied or American Golden


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In October there was a lone plover at Reed Lake. There was no sun shining on the plover but we thought we could see yellow/golden flecks on the back looking in our camera screens. I have done a lot of looking at both winter and juveniles photos for both plovers. They do look a lot alike. Any further clues on differences would be appreciated. 

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With a big bill like that, Black-bellied. Golden are very dainty in appearance, and have a dark cap that really contrasts with their supercilium (eyebrow), so they have a very distinct facial pattern. I usually find their back appears a bit more golden as well. Habitat can actually be a very good indication as well, I've never seen a Golden Plover near big water, always dry fields, although I'm sure it could happen.

 

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Thanks for all your input. I need to look in new places come spring! The Black-bellied plovers were at that lake along with the Red Knots in May so that was pretty exciting. I’m finding that fall has been a real test for me! Thanks again. 

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