Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Long Journey of a Semipalmated Sandpiper Scoped in Stratford

A Semipalmated Sandpiper. Photo courtesy of Frank Mantlik.

There was a terrific close-to-home example on the Connecticut Birds listserve of the point made yesterday by our colleague, Miley Bull, who wrote about the Partners In Flight conference he attended and the focus on protecting the wintering grounds and stop-over locations for migratory birds.

The Connecticut Birds notice was from Frank Mantlik, who was birding in early August down the road from our Stratford Point coastal restoration site. Frank wrote:

“Here's some follow up info on a color-banded Semipalmated Sandpiper ("JNH" on blue leg flag) that John Oshlick and I saw at Long Beach in Stratford on 6 August 2013.

“This bird was banded 26 January 2012 in Coroa dos Ovos, Maranhao, Brazil. It was then sighted 21 May 2012 in Mispillion Harbor, Delaware (migrating north towards breeding grounds).

“It then likely traveled much farther north into northern Canada or Alaska to breed on the tundra.

“Then our sighting as above.

“The distance between Stratford, CT and the Brazil site is roughly 3400 miles. And that's only part of their yearly journey. This for a bird that weighs 0.88 ounce (25 grams)!”

To protect these birds, we indeed need to think globally and act locally, and we need plenty of people in other locations to act locally as well. -- Tom Andersen, director of communications and community outreach.

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