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Birdchick Blog: Banded American Oystercaters

Monday, August 11, 2008

Banded American Oystercaters

While birding at South Beach in Cape Cod last week, we found some banded American oystercatchers. Above is number 52. At first, I was going to enter its information to the Bird Banding Lab (where one typically submits found band numbers), but the yellow tags with fairly easy to read numbers usually means there's a specific study. Sure enough, I went to google, entered "banded oystercatcher" and found AMOY Banding--someone is doing a specific oystercatcher study! Based on the yellow bands, I was able to figure out that this bird was banded in Massachusetts. I submitted my siting and today got this info from Shiloh Schulte of the Zoology Department of North Carolina State University :

"The bird you saw was banded on South Monomoy as a chick in July 2004. This bird overwinters on the west coast of Florida near Cedar Key. This is the first report of the bird on the breeding grounds since the year it hatched. Reports like yours really help us understand how oystercatchers move and use habitat throughout the year. Please let us know if you see more bands!"

Looking over my photos, I now see that more oystercatchers were banded, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to read the bands--at least three birds in the above photo are banded. So, if you see any oystercatchers, double check to see if they are banded. The colors are not just yellow, there's green, blue, red, and black as well.

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Blogger A New England Life said...

How exciting! I'll bet you may be able to read a couple of the bands on the other birds. Your pictures look to be high quality for enlargement. Good luck!

Just yesterday I discovered we have not one, but two banded Red Tailed Hawks living in our area. Unfortunately I don't think I'll ever get close enough without a telephoto lens to see their #'s, but all the same it's a thrill : )

What a wonderful blog you have! Keep it up!

8/11/2008 5:52 AM  
Blogger kjpweb said...

Isn't that something? Pretty cool. Though I'd be happy to see one in the 1st place - let alone bands. ;)
Cheers, Klaus

8/11/2008 8:15 AM  
Blogger Beth in NYC said...

Sharon, this is great, thanks for the link! I saw a small flock of about 20 Red Knots at the beach this weekend and got got a clear picture of a yellow flag on one of them. I just reported the number on this link. I hope it helps! I was just honored to see them and tossed out a little wish that they eat well and make lots of little knots. :-)

8/11/2008 9:47 PM  

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