There are three types of golden plover – European, American and Pacific.
The European Golden Plover is typically very fat and dumpy. It breeds from Iceland in the west to Siberia in the east and winters in western and southern Europe and North Africa.
The American Golden Plover is, compared to European, a smaller, more slender-bodied species, with longer legs, neck and wings and proportionally a slightly longer and stouter bill. It spans the whole of the Americas, from Alaska and Canada in the north to Uruguay and Argentina in the south.
The Pacific Golden Plover is also a spectacular migrant. It breeds across northern Siberia to western Alaska and winters in south and south-east Asia, Australasia and the Pacific islands. It resembles the American Golden Plover and can be difficult to distinguish.