LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Each Thursday we spotlight a bird you can find in Arkansas. This week we are talking about the American Golden Plover.
This shorebird species migrates through Arkansas in spring and fall. In spring, they are noted as "common", but very few people have ever seen or even heard of them. This is because this is not a species that you'll just see in your backyard, or even at a park or other "birdy" spot. These guys, like most shorebird species, prefer mud flats and skim water over agri fields.
What is absolutely fascinating about them is their migration, which is in March. They are one of the longest-distance migrants, travelling and astounding 25,000 miles from their wintering grounds in Patagonia to their breeding grounds in the arctic tundra.
They are also a species who keeps a drab coloration in winter, and undergoes a full body molt in Spring to reveal their stunning breeding plumage. When they are spotted in Arkansas, they are still in their drab winter plumage.
The photos attached to this article have the birds in both their drab and colorful plumage.