Banded shorebirds and Red Knot requests
As you may or may not recall I had two digiscoped images of 2 color-banded shorebirds taken on the 18th at my impromptu walk at Fort D. One was a Piping Plover band with a silver USFWS band above the left tarsus and a yellow band below and an orange flag over the right tarsus and an orange over yellow bands below or as I now know would be X,Y:Of,OY (X represents metal numerical band, a "," represents the leg (foot) joint, and the ":" seperates legs (everything left of the colon is left leg, right of the colon is right leg) .......... a little lesson for color marked shorthand for y'all seeing and wanting to repor these birds. At any rate, the Piping Plover in question was banded in Ludington, Michigan on the shore of the Great Lake. It is a fan of Fort D and was seen here last year.
The Marbled Godwit (which I would guess would be X,:Gf,) had a metal band above the tarsus on the left leg and a green flag on the right above the tarsus. As I had mentioned this was the first I'd personally seen a color-banded Marbled Godwit, and it was welcome news for the researchers who banded it. This bird is one of a handful of Marbled Godwits banded in Coastal Georgia not far from Brunswick (north of Jekyll Island). This is the first one of these Godwits reported away from the banding area, so it was significant!
Thank you to Reed Bowman who quickly hooked me up with the researchers doing the Plover research and I'm indebted to Brian Harrington for the link to the Godwit. This is a fun activity and all of us can learn much from these extra colorful visitors. As such Brian Harrington with the Manomet Bird Observatory is always happy to receive reports of color banded shorebirds and is a great source to start with on info like this. He asked that I share his contact info with all, and had another request he was hoping we all could help with.
In the same area where the Godwit was banded, wintering Red Knots inexplicitly disappeared last year. Sampling the local food source showed that the bivalve populations had crashed. Brian and co. are hoping that these birds that have wintered in the area have found new wintering grounds and would be interested in hearing not only about color-banded shorebirds but ANY sightings of large groups of Red Knots (100 plus). This is an awesome opportunity to help researchers relocate the missing birds. So please share sightings of any large Knot flocks with Brian at the contacts below. He would love you all the more for any color-banded knots! ;)
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
PO Box 1770, 81 Stage Pt Rd
Manomet, MA 02345
tel 508/224-6521, fax 224-9220
web site www.manomet.org
research updates www.shorebirdworld.org
Anyone interested in learning more about Brian's many adventures and studies on shorebirds can see him this November at the Spacecoast Bird and Wildlife Festival in Titusville. He's a cool guy to talk to and when not at the festival can typically be found consuming Rock Shrimp at nearby eateries (like the rest of us!)
Leica Sport Optics
Port Charlotte, FL
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