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Arctic

Post on our research expeditions to the Canadian Arctic

Arctic, Arctic 2003, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Expedition to the Arctic: Red Knot – June 28, 2003

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Previous Post The north esker was our last to be searched. It lies along two lakes running perpendicular to the main esker, approximately 3 km north. Last year we found one nest on the esker and a second just off the esker less than 1km away. As described last years journal we tracked both pairs with transmitters. It was a unique opportunity to visit their daily lives, one incubating for 12 hours at a time, the other flying far from the nest to feed, probably to the ocean coast 10 km away. We learned first hand the complicated natural history…

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Arctic, Arctic 2003, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Expedition to the Arctic: Red Knot – July 4, 2003

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Previous Post With the sun shining brightly we finally retired to our tent homes at about 2:00 am. We established camp next to an unnamed lake in low and mostly vegetated tundra, characteristically unsuitable for red knots, but a productive habitat for nearly all the other shorebirds in the central Arctic. Within a day, Mark, Rodger and Steve had ferreted out the nests of semipalmated sandpiper, white-rumped sandpiper, pectoral sandpiper, Baird’s sandpiper, ruddy turnstone, stilt sandpiper, red phalarope, golden plover, black-bellied plover, glaucous gull, Sabine’s gull, tundra swan, snow goose, Canada geese, white fronted geese, king eiders, long-tailed duck, pacific…

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Arctic, Arctic 2003, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Expedition to the Arctic: Red Knot – July 6, 2003

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Previous Post Early the next morning, our third day at base camp, we intended to sweep the most promising areas found the day before. Although we intuited the habitat as marginal, and our preliminary survey of potential habitats in an area of approximately 100 sq. km substantiated that, we intended to test it by sweeping the most promising areas. We employed the method developed at Southampton Island using 50ft ropes with 2 ft plastic strips every 7 ft carried between 9 people. Our search would be more difficult as the areas suitable for nesting were scattered amongst more vegetated habitats….

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Arctic, Arctic 2003, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Expedition to the Arctic: Red Knot – July 8, 2003

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Previous Post Our trip back to our homes went without too much difficulty. In not too much time we were already reflecting on the trip, our accomplishments, and findings. First and foremost, we successfully completed another Arctic expedition without serious mishap, not a small accomplishment in an area so isolated and fraught with danger. We accomplished a great amount of work, including moving an entire team and camp to an altogether different location. We found that the number of red knots at our Southampton Island study site continues to decline. The numbers are so low it might be more useful…

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Arctic, Arctic 2000, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our First Expedition 2000 -July 12

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Previous Post We spent the last few days of our expedition preparing for our departure and tying up the some of the lose ends of our work. We had good news on Wednesday when Bruno and Mark found the eggs in several nests piping. We were elated because we assumed it would all happen after we left. The team readily volunteered to keep a constant surveillance on the nests and by Thursday morning, the day Ed was to come and take us back to civilization, our first nest, nest one, hatched all four chicks. Red knot chicks are born precocial,…

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Arctic, Arctic 2000, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our First Expedition 2000 – Trip Conclusion

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  Previous Post We accomplished a number of important scientific goals on our expedition. We found enough nests to provide a reasonable sample for the study of the breeding ecology of the red knot. We instrumented 8 birds and conducted the first study of home range and habitat use. We began a study on feeding ecology of breeding birds, the first for the new world knots. We banded nearly all the adults of the 11 nests and collected nest-site data, body measurements and blood samples for most of the birds. We now know what the important habitats are for red…

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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 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 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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