Friday, July 3, 2009

A Banded Piping Plover

At the urging of Bruce, who owns the web sight I use for posting my bird sightings, I sent the following to Greg Pavelk concerning a banded piping plover I photographed at Bunche Beach

Well today, May 3, 2009, I got a very good look a banded piping plover, photo attached, at Bunche Beach in Lee County (Ft Myers) Florida. I was usually able to locate these plovers on most visits, till recently. I have been assuming that most have already left for the north. The one today was well decorated with bands and flags. When facing the bird, the right leg has an orange flag at the top of the leg and two bands at the bottom - top one is yellow with an orange band in the middle and the lower band is black. The left leg, has a metal band on the upper leg and a lite green band at the bottom.
Hope this helps.

Greg responded
Dear Tom,

Thank you for your report and photo. The orange flag is a regional marker for piping plovers banded on the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes ploversare the rarest of the three piping plovers populations. Of the approximately8,000 piping plovers documented during the 2006 International Piping PloverCensus, only 110 were from the Great Lakes. I will forward your e-mail to theUniversity of Minnesota researchers that banded the plover. They should be able to provide you with additional information as when and where the ploverwas banded and any life history they have on the bird.

Bruce and his wife Rosemary now live in New Zealand. Bruce is aprogram manager for the NZ Department of Conservation. Rosemary also worksfor the Department of Conservation, managing the captive rearing program. Oneof the species she works with is the shore plover, of which there are lessthan 250 in existence. She has her work cut out for her. Thanks again for the report.
Greg Pavelka
Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Then I recieved this email from the University of Minnesota
Hi Tom,
Thank you so much for the sighting and the great photo! This bird was captive-reared at the University of Michigan Biological station. The original nest was located on North Manitou Island. Thanks again!
Kelsi Hunt (plover undergraduate student)
I have found bandings on other plovers, a pelican, spoonbill and red-cockaded woodpeckers, but this is the first time I was able to follow-up on reporting a sightings. Very pleasing.

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