Kuriri/Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Native. At risk-declining.
The Pacific Golden Plover breeds in Siberia and Alaska, so it is only seen in Aotearoa New Zealand during our spring and summer months arriving from mid-September onwards and heading back in March and April. The annual migration round trip is 25-27000km.
Usually seen in small flocks of up to 12 birds. It feeds by making short runs, stopping abruptly when it sees something on the surface of the mud, and then snatching at what it's spotted. Small crabs, marine worms, invertebrates and earthworms, plus some berries and seeds on their breeding grounds make up their diet.
In non-breeding plumage Pacific Golden Plover are a mottled dark brown and buff on top with some hints of gold. It has a short black beak and grey legs, with a pale stripe above the eye, a pale forehead, and pale underparts, with some dull yellow-gold and dark speckled markings on the throat. Towards the end of summer black feathers will begin to show through as they prepare to migrate north to their breeding grounds.