American Golden-Plovers on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska: A new longevity record for the species and other breeding ground observations


56 – 59

1 December 07

Oscar W. Johnson, Philip L. Bruner, Andrea E. Bruner, Patricia M. Johnson

Oscar W. Johnson
Dept of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA.


Public Files

A banded male American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica returned to the same breeding territory in western Alaska for 13 consecutive seasons setting a longevity record for the species. We report here various features of the bird’s nesting including distances between nests, and reuse of nest cups. When this individual’s territory became vacant in 2006 (presumably because its occupant had died), an unbanded male dominica defended the site for a single season and nested in one of his predecessor’s nest cups. In 2007, dominica were absent from the site and it  was occupied instead by a nesting pair of Pacific Golden-Plovers P. fulva. In an area separate from the long-lived plover, we banded both members of four pairs of dominica in 2002 and observed the returnees (two males and two females) in 2003. One of the males reoccupied his former nesting territory, the other male selected a nest site that may have been beyond the boundaries of his 2002 territory. The latter male also made a dramatic shift in nesting habitat moving from dense grassy tussock in 2002 to a nearby stony flat with sparse vegetation in 2003. The two marked females mated with new partners at considerable distances from their nests the previous season.