If you go birdwatching at all, you probably now about the amazing migrations birds make. tiny little birds some only a few grams in weight fly from as far north as canada down to the BAhamas or further every year. They do this to avoid cold weather and food shortages in their breeding range, but then return each year to find mates, escape competition and maybe find better breeding and chick rearing resources.

This year, I was lucky enough to find and photograph a banded Piping plover (Charadrius melodus). I found the bird on Colonial Beach, Paradise Island on August 25th, 2019 after hiking from the yoga retreat with two marine scientist friends. If I had stayed in the water and swam down with my fins instead of walking with my camera, I would not have seen these birds. In total I saw 5 Piping plovers that day or PIPL as the cool kids say.

After finding th bird, I put out some feelers to find out who banded the bird and when and where. This bird was actually banded as a chick on June 19, 2019 on Fire Island National Seashore, NY by researchers from Virginia Tech. THat means at about 2-3 months old, this little bird has traveled 1,102 miles (1,773 km) under its own power of flight.

And I got to be the first to see and photograph it in the Bahamas! What are the chances?

The photo is here on my flicker page https://flic.kr/p/2h6SWLi

I hope you enjoyed and you should get pumped for this week of shorebird surveys.

Leno