European golden plover

European golden plover
Adult in breeding plumage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Pluvialis
Species: P. apricaria
Binomial name
Pluvialis apricaria
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The European golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria), also known as the Eurasian golden plover or just the golden plover within Europe, is a largish plover. This species is similar to two other golden plovers. American golden plover, Pluvialis dominica, and Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva, are both smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European golden plover, and both have grey rather than white axillary feathers (only properly visible in flight).

The genus name is Latin and means relating to rain, from pluvia, "rain". It was believed that golden plovers flocked when rain was imminent. The species name apricaria is Latin and means to bask in the sun.[2]


The European golden plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Origin of Guinness World Records

On 10 November 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries,[3] went on a shooting party in the North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford, Ireland. After missing a shot at a Eurasian golden plover, he became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the golden plover or the red grouse (the former being correct).[4] That evening at Castlebridge House, he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird.[5][6] Beaver knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland, but there was no book in the world with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular.[7] A Guinness employee told Sir Hugh of two twin brothers, Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had opened a fact checking agency in London. Sir Hugh interviewed the brothers and, impressed by their prodigious knowledge, commissioned the book. Later, he published the first Guinness World Records which became a best seller within months.[8]

Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden


  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Pluvialis apricaria". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 57, 311. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. "The History of the Book". Guinness Record Book Collecting. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  4. Davenport, Fionn (2010). Ireland. Lonely Planet. p. 193. ISBN 9781742203508.
  5. "Early history of Guinness World Records". 2005. p. 2. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007.
  6. Cavendish, Richard (August 2005). "The Guinness Book of Records was first published on August 27th, 1955". History Today. 55 (8).
  7. Guinness World Records 2005 (50th Anniversary ed.). Guinness. 2004. p. 6. ISBN 1892051222.
  8. "The Guinness Book of Records, Witness - BBC World Service".
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