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Shorebird fledglings spotted at beaches around region

By Staff | Aug 12, 2020

AUDUBON FLORIDA/KYLIE WILSON Sanibel fledgling Blue/Green

On Aug. 5, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht reported that the organization recently received news about some of the islands’ snowy plovers.

After several failed nesting attempts on Siesta Key, 2017 Sanibel fledge Green/White (aka “Ms. Sanibel”) was found by state park staff on Caladesi Island with two small chicks. In 2017, she fledged from Sanibel and her first resighting was in August 120 miles away on Caladesi. Since then, Ms. Sanibel has spent most of her time on Siesta Key.

Sanibel fledgling Blue/Green was banded on July 1 near the Sanibel Lighthouse. It was seen on Aug. 1 on Lido Key, about 69 miles from where it hatched.

Adult White/Blue was found on July 30 on Anclote Key, about 130 miles north by state park staff. An adult male that was banded in 2019 on Sanibel, he fledged two chicks around the Shell Island Beach Club near the Sanibel Lighthouse in both 2019 and 2020.

Albrecht spent most of her time two weeks ago removing all of SCCF’s shorebird enclosures in anticipation of the potential impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias. All of the shorebirds appeared to be done nesting, and no chicks or fledglings were using them, the SCCF reported.

HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK/DANIEL LARREMORE Adult White/Blue

Fall shorebird migration is starting. Lots of sanderlings have recently returned to the beaches. The SCCF reminded beach-goers to not let children or dogs chase the birds. They have flown thousands of miles after spending the summer in the arctic nesting and raising chicks. They are very tired and it is essential they can rest and feed to regain energy for the rest of their journey. Some will stay on the islands for the winter, while others will continue on to Central and South America.

As migratory shorebirds start to return, keep an eye out for banded birds. For questions about the shorebirds or to report a sighting of a banded one, contact Albrecht at shorebirds@sccf.org.