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Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

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Birds Carry Plants to Hawaii

Three-quarters of Hawaii's native flowering plants probably come from seeds that hitched rides with birds. The bird-borne seeds that sprouted in Hawaii evolved into more than a thousand new species. The most likely seed-carriers were undoubtedly strong fliers, such as plovers or tropicbirds -... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

How Shorebirds Find Their Way

Shorebirds such as these Pacific Golden-Plovers have a built-in map and a built-in compass. Many night-flying migrants use star patterns to orient themselves, and the fact that the sun always sets in the west makes it a compass point for a bird about to take off on a night flight. Perhaps the... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Flying South with Pacific Golden-Plovers

In September, a Pacific Golden-Plover wings its way toward the Hawaiian Islands, where it will spend the winter. Its wings span a full two feet. The plover fueled up for migration by plucking summer berries from its Alaskan tundra breeding grounds, storing fat for its 2500-mile flight. After 48... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration