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Banded birds sighted as fall migration kicks off

By SCCF - | Oct 7, 2020

SCCF Sandwich tern

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation shorebird biologist Audrey Albrecht continues to do monthly shorebird surveys and is catching up on data entry and analysis following the completion of the shorebird nesting season.

Out on the beaches, volunteers and Albrecht have seen a few interesting banded birds recently.

Volunteer Cheri Hollis found a sandwich tern at Bowman’s Beach on Sept. 23. It was originally captured and banded as a breeding adult on Raccoon Island in Louisiana in 2015. The only other time it has been re-sighted since banding was in October 2015 by a colleague from Audubon Florida on Marco Island.

In addition, Albrecht found a banded red knot on Sept. 25 at Bowman’s while on turtle patrol. The individual was banded (6C9) as an adult in October 2011 in South Carolina. Red knots can migrate up to 18,000 miles a year traveling between wintering grounds in Argentina and the breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra.

“Red knots are on their southern migration right now. They nest in arctic Canada, and fly south in the fall,” Albrecht said. “Looking at its past re-sights, it appears this individual may stay in Florida for the winter. But, others will just stop here and then continue on to South America. They will start heading north again in April.”

SCCF Banded red knot

For questions about shorebirds or to report sightings of a banded ones, contact Albrecht at shorebirds@sccf.org.