Piping Plovers in sunny Florida

26 11 2008
Banded Piping Plover on Siesta Key (photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun, Sarasota Audubon)

Banded Piping Plover on Siesta Key (photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun, Sarasota Audubon)

 This story comes to us from Michelle van Deventer, who assists in coordinating SEANET’s Florida branch:

“On September 26 during a SEANET survey on Lido Key in Sarasota Florida, Ruthellen Piepert spotted a piping plover sporting several bands and an orange flag.  The sighting was reported and the fascinating details about this little plover are below.  I also spotted this same banded PIPL on nearby Siesta Key a short time later, along with another similarly banded juvenile PIPL.  These sightings were again reported to the banding agencies and details are below.  What a great opportunity to learn about the individual history of these birds, which are part of the federally endangered Great Lakes population.  It’s also exciting to provide useful wintering info to the researchers involved and help them fill in the gaps on where these birds go when they leave the breeding grounds.” 

When our Florida colleagues reported these banded birds, they received the following information from Francesca J. Cuthbert, Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota:

“Thanks so much for your excellent report on one of our Great Lakes Piping Plovers. This bird has an interesting story. It came from a nest in Grand Marais, Michigan. This location is on Lake Superior. During incubation, the nest was abandoned after the adult male died accidentally. The eggs were taken into captivity at the Piping Plover captive rearing facility at the University of Michigan Biological Station near Pellston, MI. The eggs were artificially incubated and they hatched successfully. When the chicks were about 30 days old, they were driven back up to  Grand Marais and released back into the wild. This occurred last summer so your bird is about 4-5 months old. Thanks again for your report. Please let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you find some more banded birds this winter.”

Banded Piping Plover Stretching

A second Banded Piping Plover, this one stretching (photo by Michelle van Deventer)

And regarding the sighting of the second banded plover on a nearby beach, 

“Thanks for the additional report. This second bird is also a captive reared plover from last summer. It is a sibling of the one reported earlier. So, the story is the same. The unusual part of the story, however, is that is
very rare for birds who are together on the breeding grounds to winter together (maybe we don’t have enough data on juveniles, however). What we know is that the parents do not winter together and the parents do not winter with their offspring. This is a rare case where 2 siblings appear to be wintering together.”




One response

29 12 2011
The festivities in Georgia « SEANET Blog

[…] This is not the first time a marked Piping Plover has turned up on a southern beach in winter; back in 2008, a pair of siblings turned up in Florida, wintering on the same beach–a highly unusual thing […]

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