138. Charadrius pluvialis.
THE GOLDEN PLOVER.
Pluvialis— rainy; from pluvia=rain. Charleton says because it frequents places damp from rain and marshes. Littre derives the French pluvier from the fact of the birds only reaching France in the rainy season.
Male 10" to 11 1/4". Legs blue-grey. Bill black.— In winter: Above black, mottled golden. Throat, lower breast, and abdomen pure white. Axillaries pure white.— In summer: Above black, mottled golden and white. Throat, breast, and belly black. Reigns in the W. Palaearctic, from Europe generally to W. Siberia, and migrating south in winter to N. Africa and Sind. Male helps in incubation. Four pyriform eggs (2.1 x 1.4), light brown, spotted purple.
H. M. S. Caroline in Pacific reported that during a gale on May 14th twelve Golden Plover were seen round the ship migrating from the Sandwich Islands for the north. The ship was 1,200 miles from nearest land, and it was computed that the time of flight would be 80 hours (at 30 miles an hour) to complete the distance between Hawaii and the mainland. (B. 1440. S.E. vii. 186.)