Chile, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, texas, Tierra Del Fuego 2003

Expedition to Tierra del Fuego – February 6, 2003


Previous Post Adding to our concern over the low numbers of red knots on the bay is the low proportion of immatures. In healthy shorebird populations one could expect 1 out of every 3-5 birds to be young of the year. For example in 2002 we found 1 out of every 3 godwits (36%) to be young of the year. For red knots the figure was much lower, 1 out of 17 (6%). This year only 5% of the knots were immatures. Why the lower rate? One possibility is juveniles don’t come to Tierra del Fuego to winter but stop…

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Bird Study, Conserving Wildlife, Expeditions and Travels, Science, texas

unraveling the texas knot


Fish killed from a red tide event on Padres Island TX. photo by Barbara KeelerAs David Newstead and I started our week of fieldwork on Padre Island National Seashore, we were hoping for better conditions than the catastrophic fish kill that blanketed Texas beaches last fall. There to trap shorebirds, we mostly spent our time riding the 60 mile long undeveloped beach near Corpus Christi, TX, documenting one of the worse red tide events every to occur on the Gulf Coast. The deadly toxin from the algae bloom, killed fish and birds particularly red knots. At the beginning of our trip, last year we saw a few hundred red knots, by the end of our trip we…

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Expeditions and Travels, shorebird ecology, texas

The Secret Life of Shorebirds


I just returned from field research on red knots at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, a place better known as a nesting site for Kemp’s Ridley Turtles than for shorebirds. We nearly accomplished all our banding objectives in the first few days, but then the knots left. Still at low weight, it’s unlikely they left successfully prepared to reach their Arctic breeding areas. They could have flown over to the Laguna Madre, a large hyper-saline, state-sized bay on the backside of the island, but a cursory search turned up nothing. They might have moved up the Texas coast, but…

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