Size: L: 25 cm. Males and females are similar. This species is seasonally dimorphic. There are two races of the Lesser Golden Plover, the more widespread P. d. dominica, and the range-restricted P. d. fulva, which is found only in the west.

Breeding Adult: back and wings mottled black and gold, with flecks of white throughout; white stripe extends across forehead, over eye and ear coverts, and down sides of breast; face, centre breast, and belly black; undertail coverts black with faint whitish bars; bill short, straight, black; legs blackish

Winter Adult/Juvenile: back and wings mottled black, with some white flecks; white stripe extends across forehead and over eye; face light grey-brown; breast and belly pale golden, with somewhat darker brownish streaking; undertail coverts whitish; bill and legs as in breeding adult