Bunche Beach Semipalmated Plover banded in Peru!
In the email below France Paulsen reported about her trip to Bunche Beach on Sat 24 Aug. I was the leader of the Bird Patrol trip, and during a scan I noticed a Semipalmated Plover that had a yellow flag with an alpha/numeric code. Intuitively I knew I needed a photo, as previous research with flagged shorebirds had taught me that the US uses lime green, Canada uses white, Brazil uses blue, Argentina uses orange, and Chile uses red. Who uses yellow? I knew a few other SA countries were starting programs, like Suriname perhaps?
Much to my surprise it turns out this individual was banded in Peru! Here are the comments from Eve Tavera Fernandez: "We are very excited about this one, because is our first SEPL that has been [seen] outside Peru. Besides we have only marked less than 50 of those guys. We work in Paracas National Reserve (Ica) in Peru, and I can tell you this is one of our birds, for sure, I remember his code (0AL)."
I’ve been waiting for a South American flagged shorebird to show up, so I’m glad my timing was good that day! I missed a Red Knot flagged in Argentina years back at Little Estero Lagoon, so now I can check that off my list of “waiting to show up”! One of the reasons I have been interested in sighting one of those shorebirds in SW Florida is because (in general) the majority of the South American wintering individuals tend to migrate on either side of the peninsula both coming and going, but a few certainly pass through. An example are the Red Knots that are mostly seen with flags in peninsular Florida are lime green. For a number of years there was a banding program for the wintering subspecies that do not go down to South America. They mostly return to the west coast of FL each year, hence the high number of resightings of lime green vs the other colors. Once you are farther north, like the FL/GA border on the Atlantic side, some of the SA individuals are resighted as they are returning from an over-Atlantic flight bypassing the peninsula. This shows the importance of banding programs and understanding the phenomenon of long distance migration.
Now with this bird stopping in SW FL in the fall going south, it raises an interesting question. If this bird intends to return to Peru, (as a staging area to go farther south or a wintering area there), is it intentionally coming through FL making a directly south flight from the Arctic Canada to Peru? Our longitude is relatively close (about 10 degrees east) to that of coastal Peru. If more of these birds get banded from that general area of Peru, than we may find out that many of our Semipal Plovers during migration are part of that route?...or we may not! Questions that lead to more questions, but showing the importance of getting a handle on this stuff for management and conservation priorities in the future. Cool stuff!
Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife info:
Lee County Bird Patrol info:
SWFL Birdline info:
FL Ornithological Society info:
Greetings Birdbrain Folks;
Just wanted to share that I had a great birding morning today. This birding trip was put out by www.birdpatrol.org - I was pleased with the amount of species that I came across while visiting the area, I look forward to return.
I took some photos of my experience and you are more than welcome to check it out at www.birdstring.blogspot.com
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