Friday, November 22, 2013

Request for Action - Help the Red Knot

Many of you already know that the Bird Nerds volunteer to help with Red Knot banding projects. This little bird is a long distance migrant. They spend the winter in Argentina and nest in the Canadian Arctic. Check out a globe to see how far that is to fly. I know people that would not even attempt that distance in a plane let alone flapping their own wings.  These birds weigh only a few ounces yet they fly all of that way - twice - once in spring and back again in fall.  Each spring, the birds stop at the Delaware Bay to fuel up on horseshoe crab eggs. They time their arrival in May just when the crabs are laying eggs along the beach. It is a spectacle - hundreds of ugly horseshoe crabs and thousands of birds spread out along the beach. Our house in the Villas right in the heart of this mayhem. It is one of the reasons that we bought property here.

Red Knot numbers are declining. Each year, scientists count and band fewer of these birds. There are many reasons for the decline but Delaware Bay crabs are definitely one of them.  As with everything else in this world, protecting the Red Knot requires money. Scientists and conservationists need to get paid. Boats and planes and other equipment needs to be used. The list goes on. One way to help the Red Knot is to tell the government to list the bird on the Endangered Species List.  NJ Audubon is making it easy for you to do this.  Here is a link to their webpage. All you need to do is send your comment. They even provide sample letter that you can cut and paste into the comment form.  Please do this and send the link to others. We need as many people as possible to help.  Even if you've never seen a Red Knot, please comment.

Thank you. I don't usually ask you to take action, but this is important.

Delaware Bay

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