Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Color-Banded Red Knots on Lido Key
Yesterday I found a group of about 100 Red Knot on the beach at the south end of Lido Key. Among the birds were at least 9 that carried colored leg bands. The wind was blowing so intensely that sand got into my binoculars! so I didn't take the time to read the numbers on the tags. I was able to record the color-band combinations and will report them to the Bird Banding Laboratory to learn where the banded birds originated.
This picture, pirated from the Cape Romain Bird Observatory in South Carolina, illustrates the kind of color band(s) I encountered.
The population status of this species seems to be inexorably tied to the horseshoe crab and its yearly spawning activities on Delaware Bay where almost all of the eastern population of Red Knot stages during spring migration each year. As the horseshoe crab goes so goes the Red Knot. You can learn more about the biology of Red Knot at this website.