The Pacific golden plover is a medium-sized wading bird that breeds in the Arctic tundra. During this time the adult is spotted gold and black on the crown, and back on the wings. Its face and neck are black with a white border, and it has a black breast and a dark rump. The legs are black. In winter, the black is lost and the plover then has a yellowish face and breast, and white underparts.
Pacific golden plovers breed from northernmost Eurosiberia into western Alaska. They are migratory and winter in South Asia and Australasia. A few winter in California and Hawaii, USA. These birds can be found in tundra, shrubland, fields, prairies, mangroves, flooded pastures, saltmarshes, mudflats, and beaches.
Pacific golden plovers are diurnal and forage singly or in flocks in short vegetation, along beaches or on tidal flats. They hunt by sight walking rapidly with regular stops to scan the area. When the prey is spotted plovers peck mud and dig up their food. To communicate with each other, Pacific golden plovers use a mellow 'quee-lee-lee' and their song consists of a series of slow whistles with short pauses.
Pacific golden plovers are probably serially monogamous and usually form pair bonds that last only during one breeding season. With the start of the mating season, the male performs aerial displays in order to attract the female. Breeding pairs nest on the ground in a dry open area. Their nest is a shallow depression usually lined with leaves, grass, or moss. The female lays 4 eggs and both parents incubate them during 23-25 days. The chicks are precocial and are able to leave the nest shortly after hatching. Both parents lead their young to a feeding area where they feed themselves but tended by adults. Young Pacific golden plovers fledge at the age of 26 to 28 days.
Pacific golden plovers are not globally threatened; however, despite that the population of this species is decreasing due to habitat loss, hunting for food in some areas, and climate change.
According to the IUCN Red List, the global population size of the Pacific Golden plover is around 190,000-250,000 individuals. National population sizes have been estimated at 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and 1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia. Overall currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on The IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.