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Show us your shorebirds (waders)

shorebirds

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#181 offshorebirder

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 04:03 PM

Here are a couple of shorebirds I enjoyed last weekend at the eastern tip of Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  I also saw a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, one of my favorite birds of all, but it did not cooperate and provide close/good photo opportunities.

 

Piping Plover - an endangered species.   This one is 'flagged' to individually track the bird on the breeding and wintering grounds.  Observers report the bird back to www.bandedbirds.org or directly to the Piping Plover researchers and they keep a log of all the birds' movements.

 

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Here is a Willet - not very colorful this time of year, but they still possess a subtle beauty.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder, 13 September 2016 - 04:05 PM.

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#182 offshorebirder

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 04:43 PM

I just heard from some shorebird researchers that Piping Plover 22J spends the spring and summer breeding on Long Island, New York and winters on the South Carolina coast just south of Charleston.

 

Long may he/she endure!


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#183 Geoff

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 10:09 PM

@offshorebirder   As the plover flies how far is it from Long Island to Charleston?

 

With the exception of no hood on a Piping Plover the resemblance between them & a Hooded Plover is striking. 

 

Although I'm not keen on banding/flagging birds the scientific data that is provides is fantastic. I always love it when one of the birds I monitor during the breeding season is reported at a distant location. It adds another piece to the puzzle of how these creatures go about their lives.


Geoff.

#184 theplainswanderer

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 11:10 PM

Lovely shots offshore birder!

Cheers

David taylor

#185 offshorebirder

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 01:22 PM

@offshorebirder   As the plover flies how far is it from Long Island to Charleston?

 

With the exception of no hood on a Piping Plover the resemblance between them & a Hooded Plover is striking. 

 

Although I'm not keen on banding/flagging birds the scientific data that is provides is fantastic. I always love it when one of the birds I monitor during the breeding season is reported at a distant location. It adds another piece to the puzzle of how these creatures go about their lives.

 

@Geoff - thanks for your interest in Piping Plovers - one of my favorite birds and one I do a lot of volunteer work to support.

 

It is about an 800 mile (1,300 kilometer) flight down the coast from Long Island to Kiawah Island.  From what we know about eastern (Atlantic) Piping Plovers, they migrate in stages down the coast- stopping periodically to feed and fatten up for a few days or weeks during transit.

 

Coastal South Carolina also has wintering Piping Plovers from the highly endangered Great Lakes population, as well as the northern Great Plains birds that breed on alkali lakeshores and sand/gravel flats in large rivers in the northern Great Plains.  The inland Piping Plovers are thought to make longer migration flight segments, as suitable stopover habitat between the breeding and wintering grounds is less common.  And because Piping Plovers are much less frequently sighted by birders between the breeding and wintering grounds. 

 

I too am squeamish about bird banding - kind of a surprising thing for someone who co-founded a bird observatory.  I know it's a valid conservation tool and we learn a lot about bird populations, longevity, migration routes, vital stopover sites, etc. etc.   But I have a hard time witnessing birds being captured and processed.  I know there is a certain amount of injury or mortality from the banding process and it bothers me.  I used to help as a data scribe and "tricky bird identifier" for bird banding stations but do not do it much any more, except for a few targeted conservation projects.

 

Bird banders have learned a lot in the past decade about best practices for banding shorebirds.  They used to put the aluminum bands/rings around shorebirds' ankles.  But corrosion from saltwater can render the aluminum bands pitted or jagged.  Some of those Piping Plovers and other shorebirds have been documented with serious foot/ankle injuries up to and including loss of a foot.  Now they are putting aluminum USGS bands above the knee joint only and using multiple color-coded bands is discouraged in favor of a single plastic flag with numeric/alpha codes for individual identification.  

 

But some good conservation results have come about due to tracking individual birds.  Not all the breeding populations of Piping Plovers are Federally classified as "Endangered" but when individuals from say the Great Lakes population are noted in an area, that means more stringent restrictions on:  development, beach re-nourishment (dredging and pumping sand from offshore onto beaches to forestall erosion), off-leash dogs or the presence of dogs at all, closing the beach to off-road vehicles (where the barbaric practice is still allowed such as the North Carolina Outer Banks), etc.


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#186 offshorebirder

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 01:23 PM

@theplainswandered - thanks David!    Glad to share some shorebird photos back your way.


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#187 offshorebirder

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 09:31 PM

I was fortunate this morning to have a pair of Marbled Godwits amble up close to me while they were foraging on the northeast edge of Charleston Harbor.  The spot is essentially the vantage point where John James Audubon portrayed his classic Long-billed Curlew with the Charleston skyline in the  background.

 

A father and his toddler son expressed an interest in the birds so I urged them to observe the gorgeous Godwits in my spotting  scope.  Judging from his reaction, the child may turn out to be a keen birder in a few years. 

 

 

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#188 Terry

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:27 PM

Spotted Sandpiper photographed at low tide along the shore of Tankah Bay not far from Tulum, Mexico

 

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#189 elefromoz

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 09:10 AM

Common Greenshanks, local river foreshore, Alfred Cove, Perth, AU

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#190 offshorebirder

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 11:39 PM

I will be posting some more shorebird photos from Kenya soon, but here are a couple to get things warmed up.

 

Immature Black-winged Stilt at Lake Bogoria.  January 16, 2017.

 

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Here are a Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper feeding along Lake Bogoria's shoreline.  January 16, 2017.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder, 11 February 2017 - 11:58 PM.

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#191 Geoff

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 02:26 AM

Common Sandpiper. A migratory wader, I saw quite a few of these in Zambia & Kenya last October.

They do migrate to Australia but have become scarce where I live. I average seeing one individual a year where I live.

I photographed this bird not far from my home, last Friday evening on an ocean rock shelf, not a habitat I'm used to seeing them in.

Common-Sandpiper_86I1335.jpg


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#192 elefromoz

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:16 AM

@Geoff, one a year and you got it, well done. I probably see one a week but usually just as its leaving, having spotted me.

#193 offshorebirder

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:13 PM

Common Greenshank on Lake Victoria, Kenya

32804418382_82ac4ae8ae_o.jpg

 

 

Water Thick-Knee, Lake Victoria, Kenya

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Marsh Sandpiper, Lake Bogoria, Kenya

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Heuglin's Courser.  Near Lake Baringo, Kenya

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32779477436_384dcc4ded_o.jpg


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#194 AmyT

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:09 PM

Grey heron with garden eel in Galapagos Islands 2015

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#195 Geoff

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 02:39 AM

@AmyT  That's a good behavioural image you've captured. It's no big deal but you might be surprised to find that Herons are not Shorebirds (Waders).


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#196 AmyT

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:15 AM

Geoff... I am SO MUCH not a birder.  :)  I saw that there was another thread for herons after I posted. Wondering where boobies (blue-footed, red-footed, and the like) would go. 

 

Thanks!







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