Slender, long-winged plover usually found in relatively dry habitats. Breeds in Arctic tundra. During migration, prefers sod fields, dry mudflats, and pastures; often in small flocks. Breeding plumage shows black belly and face, white neck, and dark back and crown spangled with gold. Undertail coverts are entirely black on breeding birds, but beware molting birds can be mottled with white. Nonbreeding and juvenile much drabber; grayish overall with distinct white eyebrow and small pale spots on upperparts. Most easily confused with Black-bellied and Pacific Golden-Plover. American often has more golden tones with a thinner bill than Black-bellied. American is slightly longer-winged and shorter-legged than Pacific Golden-Plover, but difficult to judge. Juvenile American usually duller than Pacific. Average habitat preferences are important to note (Pacific Golden and Black-bellied more regular on beaches and mudflats), but much overlap. Range is also important. Note voice; a plaintive "pleedoo" call.