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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Shorebirds
« on: July 28, 2011, 09:44 »
Seven an unlucky number for piping plovers
Winnipeg Free Press - 28 July 2011 - Martin Zeilig

FOR a bird on the endangered species list, seven is not necessarily a lucky number. According to those tracking the piping plover, only seven of the stocky shorebirds have been identified to date in the province.

"Last year, we had seven birds, and in 2006... we counted eight birds," said Ken Porteous, Manitoba co-ordinator of the 2011 International Piping Plover Breeding Census.  Porteous noted that as far back as the 1930s, biologists were warning the situation facing the piping plover was critical.

The piping plover, which nests on beaches around Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba and formerly at West Shoal Lake, is a little smaller than a robin, with a white breast, abdomen and rump and pale brown to grey back, head and wings, like the colour of dry sand. It has a black forehead and neck band and orange legs and bill.

Alas, piping plover nests are extremely vulnerable to predation and human disturbance.

"Threats to piping plovers include loss of nesting habitat, all terrain vehicles, sunbathers or other recreationalists, encroachment of vegetation and flooding of nests or feeding areas by periodic high water levels," says Porteous.  "The nest itself is a mere scrape in the sand, lined with and camouflaged by larger pebbles. Piping plover predators include gulls, crows, northern harriers, skunks, raccoons, foxes and coyotes."

In recent years, piping plover protection has become a part of the Grand Beach Provincial Park Management Plan, with park staff helping to protect the birds by fencing off nesting areas.

"With the number of piping plovers declining, it's a safe indication that something isn't in balance in the environment," said Porteous. "I really don't know what that is. There is no villain here. We are simply in a high water cycle. But, in this day and age, there just shouldn't be an excuse to lose a species in a country as rich and diverse as Canada. And yet, we add species to our endangered species list every year.



Its been a bad year for a number of at-risk bird species ...
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 09:45 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 09:45 »


Photo by Dennis

For those wanting more information on the plovers you can check out their blog Peep-lo .

For species information, you can check out the Piping Plover pages on the Manitoba Species-at-Risk website.

And yes, if it seems kind of similar, the Peregrine Project set up both sites for the Plover Program, initially when I worked with the plovers but now just because these amazing little birds need all the exposure they can get.  The breeding season is over for 2011, but if you want to follow along for next year, I would recommend subscribing to their blog - they don't post often because field work means long hours, but it is really their only communications outlet.  The system is automated, so if you decided to unsubscribe later, the system does it right away.

Offline Saoirse

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 11:21 »
Quote
Seven an unlucky number for piping plovers


This is really interesting. As a child (and, actually, for quite a number of years past that time, too), I used to see these birds frequently at the beach. But it's been a long time since I saw one last. Thanks for this thread, TPC.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 16:15 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 16:02 »
Nunavut shorebird flies through Hurricane Irene - and survives
Nunatsiaq News / 30 August 2011

A plucky shorebird on its way south from Nunavut’s Southampton Island made headlines this week in the United States when it survived a flight through Hurricane Irene, the same storm that caused New York City to shut down for a day.

Whimbrels are long-beaked brown shorebirds, which spend their summers in Nunavut where they seek out wet lowlands and shores.

Nine days ago, on Aug. 22 a whimbrel – dubbed Chinquapin by the team that tagged the bird in 2010 — started off Aug. 22 on his annual, 4,000-plus kilometre journey to the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil, traveling at speeds of up to 80 km an hour.

Chinquapin’s travels have been tracked since May, 2010, when researchers in the southern U.S. fitted him with a tiny radio transmitter.

Since then, biologists at the Center for Conservation Biology in Virginia have been following Chinquapin’s path — and they were nervous last Wednesday when the bird flew right through the dangerous northeast section of the hurricane.

But on Saturday, their tracking showed Chinquapin was resting on Eleuthera Island in the Caribbean.

Whimbrels are “capable of really amazing migration flights” of up to 5,600 km without a rest, according to Bryan Watts, director of the College of William and Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology.

“[But] it’s sort of bad to hit a big storm at the end of a flight that long,” Watts told USA Today.

Before Chinquapin set off from Nunavut, he had likely doubled his weight, which helped provide him with enough energy to fly through the hurricane.

But it’s still a mystery to biologists how Chinquapin managed to stay his course: other migratory birds have been known to die or lose their way when travelling through a storm like Hurricane Irene, with its winds of 175 km/h.

In 2010 this same bird flew around Tropical Storm Colin while a second bird flew into the storm and did not survive.



Nunatsiaq Online - Nunavut shorebird flies through Hurricane Irene and survives

(and thanks to Cathy179 for finding this story)

Offline Saoirse

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 19:21 »
What a terrific good news story! Thanks for finding it, Cathy179 -- and for posting it, TPC! Look forward to hearing more from you in the future, Cathy179.  :D

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 08:23 »
Great story! Thanks for posting, Cathy! :) Hopefully, Chinquapin didn't survive, just to be eaten by a raptor! ;)

Offline birdcamfan

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 21:22 »
Thank you. I had never heard of this type of bird before and was interested in what size this bird is. I looked it up and they are a medium sized bird (large for a wader) of 15 to 18 inches. Hard to believe how far they can go!

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 22:13 »
For folks wanting to know a bit more detail, Cornell's All About Birds site is a good reference:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Whimbrel/id

Offline allikat

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2011
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 23:37 »
I continue to be amazed by the sheer strength, stamina and determination of these birds!  Incredible!!!

Would like to quote a line from a very famous film that captivated the majority of us that love to imagine.....Jurassic Park!

"Bet you'll never look at birds the same way again".

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Shorebirds / 2012
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 17:02 »
New Model More Accurately Describes Migratory Animals' Extinction Risk

ScienceDaily (Nov. 16, 2011)

Predicting the risk of extinction is a complicated task, especially for species that migrate between breeding and wintering sites. Researchers at the University of Georgia and Tulane University have developed a mathematical model that may make such predictions more accurate. Their work appears in the early online edition of the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

"The concern is that for a lot of species, we don't know very much about their wintering grounds," said Richard Hall, assistant research scientist in the UGA Odum School of Ecology. "Here in the U.S. we do a pretty good job of conserving breeding habitat for species of concern, but often we have no idea what kinds of threats are facing their non-breeding areas."

Hall and Tulane University's Caz Taylor developed a new model that builds upon a theory of population dynamics known as metapopulation theory.

"A metapopulation is made up of many sub-populations that live in patchily-distributed sites across a landscape," Hall said.

In its simplest form, metapopulation theory describes the fraction of suitable habitat patches occupied by a species. Individuals from a sub-population emigrate from their original site to colonize previously unoccupied patches of suitable habitat where they either thrive or die out. When the rate of successful colonization exceeds the rate of extinction, the proportion of occupied patches rises and the metapopulation is likely to persist.

The problem with simple metapopulation theory is that it assumes colonization occurs continually and is possible from any adjacent patch. It is therefore not applicable to migratory species that seasonally vacate their breeding sites to move to wintering sites, and vice versa. So while the theory has worked for certain conservation efforts -- such as informing decisions about the extent of suitable habitat needed to support endangered species such as the northern spotted owl in the Northwest and Bachman's sparrow in the Southeast -- it does not fit in all cases.

To adapt the theory for migratory species, Hall and Taylor added more complexity to the model. They divided habitat patches into two categories: those used during breeding season and those used for wintering. In their model, colonization only occurs between breeding and wintering (non-breeding) patches, not between patches of the same type.

"With the migratory model, having an unoccupied breeding patch surrounded by lots of suitable breeding habitat does not necessarily mean that the colonization rate is likely to be high," said Hall. "With migratory animals, the colonists of breeding patches come from non-breeding patches far away."

Piping plovers provide a good example. There are only a limited number of suitable habitat patches -- open, sandy beaches that aren't excessively disturbed by human activity -- so the number and size of the breeding patches in the north and the wintering patches in the south -- and the distances between them -- are well known. Through bird banding and tracking technologies, researchers are beginning to develop an understanding of the migration patterns between breeding and wintering patches. Taylor and Hall's model could be applied to describe these birds' population dynamics.

Hall said that the model highlights the importance of taking into account the colonization and extinction rates at both breeding and non-breeding sites, which is more easily said than done.

"What our model shows is that even if the populations in the breeding areas look healthy, without knowing the state of the non-breeding areas, we could be vastly underestimating the likelihood of extinction," he said.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116104518.htm

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2013
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 17:47 »

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2013
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 18:16 »
Awwww, very nice.

52 years old seems old, indeed.  How long do flamingos live anyway?  

Offline susha

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2013
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 18:19 »
Smart bird ;)  I googled quickly - one site said 30 years and another said they "could live up to 50 years" 8)

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Shorebirds / 2013
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 22:45 »
Gives new meaning to our designated Phanatic Forum title "Old Bird". LOL! Very smart bird, taking a load off on a hot summer's day. ;)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 19:26 »
WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO

The piping plover finds a way to recover
Bartley Kives / Winnipeg Free Press / 12 August 2016



The piping plover has nested successfully in Manitoba for the first time in six years, raising hopes the endangered shorebird could return to the province in greater numbers. A piping plover nest discovered on private land in June yielded three eggs, all of which wound up hatching, said Nicole Firlotte, manager of biodiversity, habitat and endangered species for Manitoba Sustainable Development.

The last successful fledging by the species observed in Manitoba took place in 2010, when a plover nested on the sandspit south of Grand Marais, on the east side of Lake Winnipeg's southern basin. A nest observed in 2012 at Whitewater Lake in southwestern Manitoba failed to hatch eggs. The successful fledging this summer is significant, said Firlotte, who wouldn't divulge the location of the nest due to the sensitivity surrounding the species.

"When we found out about these birds, we kept the information very close to our vest and wanted to protect these birds and do everything to ensure their success," she said in a telephone interview on Friday. A fence and exclosure was erected around the nest to prevent it from getting trampled by people as well as predation by gulls, Firlotte said.

Piping plover nests have become uncommon across the northern range of the shorebird's summer habitat in recent decades. High water hampers the plover's ability to nest because it tends to favour sandy beaches. Extensive flooding in Manitoba in 2011 did not help the situation, said Firlotte, who called this summer's successful nest exciting.

"We're very hopeful these birds will come back next year and continue to nest. They've had success," she said. "We're very hopeful that they had a good time here in Manitoba." Firlotte said it's possible the nest was a second-effort attempt by plovers, who usually lay four eggs earlier in the season. She also said it's possible there are other piping plover nests elsewhere in Manitoba. "There could be plovers in Manitoba that are just in areas that are not accessible for us to watch," she said.

Piping plovers are often mistaken for kildeer, which are not endangered. Firlotte said a positive identification took place before this summer's nest was protected.


source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/piping-plover-return-1.3719024


(I was a piping plover guardian and then the provincial stewardship coordinator a few years ago so I'm a big fan of the plovers as well)

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2016, 01:46 »

Congratulations to everyone involved with helping to increase the number of piping plovers in Manitoba!


Offline Alison

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2016, 23:10 »
Thank you for posting this wonderful news, TPC! Piping plovers are such beautiful little birds, and so very vulnerable.

It's good to know that you have been involved in helping the plovers survive and hopefully make a comeback.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2018, 02:15 »
Feds help hatch plan to move protected bird, nest from Ottawa Bluesfest site

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 26, 2018 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:10PM EDT

OTTAWA -- A plan hatched by an Ottawa music festival to relocate a tiny plover and its egg-laden nest has received the go-ahead from federal environmental authorities.


https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/feds-help-hatch-plan-to-move-protected-bird-nest-from-ottawa-bluesfest-site-1.3989879

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2018, 03:20 »
Feds help hatch plan to move protected bird, nest from Ottawa Bluesfest site

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 26, 2018 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:10PM EDT

OTTAWA -- A plan hatched by an Ottawa music festival to relocate a tiny plover and its egg-laden nest has received the go-ahead from federal environmental authorities.


https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/feds-help-hatch-plan-to-move-protected-bird-nest-from-ottawa-bluesfest-site-1.3989879

I’m going to preface this by saying “well-done” moving the killdeer’s nest - takes some planning and patience but it is a great thing to commit to doing. I will roll my eyes however at the media’s use of “tiny plover” - how difficult would it have been to check a bird book if you didn’t know what a killdeer is?! Killdeer are smaller birds compared with say a Greater Canada Goose but they can not be described, on their best days, as a “tiny plover”!  Way to go Bluesfest - plover lovers unite!

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2018, 01:27 »
Feds help hatch plan to move protected bird, nest from Ottawa Bluesfest site

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 26, 2018 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:10PM EDT

OTTAWA -- A plan hatched by an Ottawa music festival to relocate a tiny plover and its egg-laden nest has received the go-ahead from federal environmental authorities.


https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/feds-help-hatch-plan-to-move-protected-bird-nest-from-ottawa-bluesfest-site-1.3989879

I’m going to preface this by saying “well-done” moving the killdeer’s nest - takes some planning and patience but it is a great thing to commit to doing. I will roll my eyes however at the media’s use of “tiny plover” - how difficult would it have been to check a bird book if you didn’t know what a killdeer is?! Killdeer are smaller birds compared with say a Greater Canada Goose but they can not be described, on their best days, as a “tiny plover”!  Way to go Bluesfest - plover lovers unite!

Thank you for your preface, TPC!  :)

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2018, 01:36 »
Update on the Killdeer situation - courtesy of CBC:

Killdeer move complete: Birds getting used to new digs at Bluesfest

Process of moving the nest metre by metre ended after 8 a.m. Wednesday

CBC News · Posted: Jun 27, 2018 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: June 27


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/kildeer-nest-final-journey-bluesfest-1.4724128

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2018, 22:29 »
Well isn't this wonderful news ...

Bluesfest bird officially a mom as 3 eggs hatch

CBC News · Posted: Jun 30, 2018 4:23 PM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

Three of the bird's four eggs hatched Saturday afternoon, officials with the popular Ottawa music festival confirmed to CBC News.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/bluesfest-bluesnest-killdeer-eggs-hatch-1.4729982
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 22:51 by burdi »

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Shorebirds
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2018, 00:38 »
Fourth killdeer egg hatches Canada Day, but parents fly the coop

by Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen

Updated: July 1, 2018
   
Hours late but perfectly timed for Canada Day, the fourth killdeer egg hatched at Bluesfest on Sunday morning at the city’s most-watched bird’s nest.

Festival technical director Scott Pollard said the last egg hatched at about 10:30, a few hours after the other three had fled and the parents had scattered.

He said National Capital Commission staff were immediately notified and, within an hour, a representative from the local wildlife centre was on hand to take the wee “orphan” into care to ensure its wellbeing.

The parents were nearby for the other three hatchings, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, but the fourth chick stubbornly stayed in its shell. There was some speculation the egg might not be viable but, sure enough, it began to crack open Sunday morning.

“I think it turned out extremely well, for everybody,” said Pollard, of the ever-evolving killdeer drama. He said he had noticed the adult birds were in an especially animated mood Saturday morning and staff wondered whether news was imminent.

Then, at about 3:30 p.m., past the signs announcing concerts by Shawn Mendes and Dave Matthews, staff spotted a killdeer chick motoring around the nest, heading for the shade. Within 90 minutes, two more followed.

NCC biologist Alexander Stone, who has been monitoring things all week, was summoned. He showed up with a camera and a bird scope, and did his best to “herd” the young ones together. (They seemed to be camped out in the shade, under a trailer.)

He said killdeer are ready to move about and eat on their own almost from the instant they break through the shell. He expected the six of them — the male is also present — to disperse within about 24 hours, possibly in the direction of the nearby Ottawa River.

“It’s great to see people come together, just for a killdeer nest,” he said of the joint effort, which involved 24-hour security, a visit by expert bird handler Monica Melichar from Minden, Ont., the staged moving of the nest about 30  metres away and some especially careful work by setup crews.

“Every bird is worth saving,” Stone said. “I’ll miss them once they’re gone.”

In a new release, festival executive director Mark Monahan called it a great ending to an amazing journey.

“We’d like to recognize the efforts of Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary’s Monica Melichar and NCC biologists Camille Tremblay and Alex Stone. I also applaud the efforts of officials at the National Capital Commission and Environment and Climate Change Canada — we could not have gotten through this without them.”

And now, says Monahan, “The show must go on.”

Protected by the Migratory Bird Act, the pair of killdeer became internationally famous when television networks like CNN began to follow the killdeer and the eggs, which typically take 26 days to hatch.


The link below includes photos.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/fourth-killdeer-egg-hatches-canada-day-but-parents-fly-the-coop

Thank you to all involved with helping this killdeer nest.

And to know that all four eggs hatched successfully brings an extra nice ending to the story!