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Arctic 2001

Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 15

searching for knots
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Previous Post   Bearing Arms We must be among the few biologists who study the habits of innocent tiny bird chicks while armed. Because two bears set up temporary residence within sight of our esker we must now split into only two groups, each with shotguns. Our fifth bear, massive and slow, hauled himself over the ridge south of camp, lay down, and slept for the next three days. He slumbered near two of our three instrumented birds with broods, leaving little chance to work on them. Our sixth bear rested near the south ridge close to our only other…

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our Second Expedition 2001 June 27

arctic tundra
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Go To Introduction to Expeditions to Arctic and Chile in Search of Red Knots   Seaching for Arctic Nesting Shorebirds Under a clear sky, and slapped by a brisk Arctic wind, our team walked from the First Air 737 into the Rankin Inlet Airport. After one night in Rankin our team will split. Nancy Donnelly (United Friends School) and Brad Winn (Wildlife Resources Unit of Georgia Division of Natural Resources) will go on to Coral Harbor, meet Johnny Alouit, our Inuit team member, and pick up our rental ATV. Mark Peck (Royal Ontario Museum), Barry Truitt ( Virginia Coast Reserve,…

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 6

Arctic Storm
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Previous Post     Polar Bears and Shorebirds As of yesterday evening we have sighted more polar bears than red knot nests: one red knot nest in 7 days of searching, three bears in 24 hours with no searching. The bears, the largest land predator in the world, tend to stand out wherever they go in this dun colored barren tundra. The first, sighted by Bruno, strolled lazily within a few km of our team while we searched for knot nests north of our base. The large male kept moving and eventually disappeared over a low ridge to the north….

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 9

red knot chick
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Previous Post   Brooding Chicks Persistent, difficult fieldwork paid off for our team in the last few days. After several long days of searching new areas, Bruno, with Mark, Nancy, and Steve, discovered an adult in “broken-wing” display, a sure sign of a nearby nest. But, she responded oddly. In the typical way, she limped around Bruno, wings hanging limply, vainly attempting to pull him in her direction. Then she gathered herself and performed for the others in the team increasing distances from the original display. She wasn’t incubating but brooding and moving as her chicks moved. It was hard…

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 3

hoochie
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Previous Post No Oil No Expedition It’s hard to describe the isolation of our study site except by the extraordinary silence that has an almost tangible quality. It was during just one of those periods that we heard a plane although the idea was ludicrous. We hear or see planes rarely and only then at 20,000 ft. heading for Europe. But emerging from the overcast sky came the Skyward Cessna Caravan rounding the esker and flying low over the camp. We stared dumbstruck, was there a problem, did some tragedy befall someone’s family? Fortunately the plane had a mission. On…

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 13

Steve Gates Tracking
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Previous Post   Polar Bear Making it Hard to Do Our Work Our fourth bear finally arose about 1:00 p.m. Stretching and yawning, he lumbered slowly into the water and swam off to the northwest. He moved out of sight within an hour. After our close call of the previous day, the bear coming within 100m of camp, we decided to step up our precautionary efforts. We now share in all-night watches, and during the day, we split into groups equal to the number of guns we pack. We realized we must take it seriously. Johnny told us he rarely…

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Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our Second Expedition 2001 June 30

Jaeger in Arctic
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Previous Post   Not So Lucky Last year we got lucky. On the first search of the first day, we found a nesting red knot. In all we found 11 red knot nests, more than any other researcher had ever located. We hoped to relocate nests within these 11 territories, perhaps even locating them in the same cups or in nearby patches of Dryas. As in 2000, we planned to study this group of birds at these nests using both radio telemetry and observation. Then we planned to move on to other nearby eskers, the sinuous ridges that are the…

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