The world’s three species of golden plovers — European (Pluvialis apricaria), American (P. dominica) and Pacific (P. fulva) — are so stunning in golden breeding plumage that they stand out when we look at them. How do these ground-nesting birds avoid predation when they look so obvious?
They’re wearing golden camouflage.
Above, a European golden plover is easy to see from the side, but blends into the background in the photo below, matching the tundra.
Speckled golden plumage hides them while they’re incubating. (American golden plover below)
And their chicks are perfectly camouflaged to match the tundra habitat. Can you find the chick in the photo below?
Who still thinks that these are couple of weeds?— Azan Khan (@CrowsAndCompany) April 7, 2019
Anyway, this is a golden plover hatchling born with the power of camouflage fully activated.
Who knew that gold can look like moss?
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals. Embedded tweet from @CrowsAndCompany)