Saturday, August 5, 2017

Radar Love

My bird club - DVOC - sponsors an intern each year at the Academy of Natural Sciences. We use money from fundraisers to help support the cost of the intern's work. The interns are then invited to give a presentation at a meeting. This year, Jenny gave a presentation with many topics but she ended by telling us about her upcoming work with Sanderlings. You should know by now that I spend alot of time on the beach in the Villas looking for tagged shorebirds (mainly Sanderlings). For instance, here is 13Y from  July 2015

And here is again from this week! Back to the same beach.

Semipalmated Sandpipers are also banded. These birds return year after year too. I know 74J like an old friend. I first spotted this fiesty little bird in 2012 and have seen him every year since. Here he is from this week.

Old friend - 74J
Here is a new one to me. 25X.

I really enjoy spotting these banded birds and recording the sightings on the website. I get to see history and maps of other sightings.

This year, there was a new twist involving Jenny and her research. She contacted me to ask if I knew anyone in the Villas that would be willing to have an antenna in their yard. You see, she is tracking Sanderlings with radio transmitters that are mounted on their backs. Our friends Diane and Terry now have an antenna in their yard. Low and behold, YJ+ showed up on the beach last week with an antenna sticking out of his back. You can see it in this photo.

YJ+ antennae bird
I contacted Jenny about it and sure enough, YJ+ is one of her study subjects. I can't wait to find out what Jenny learns from YJ+ and the others that have the radios. I know it seems cruel for the individual bird but YJ+ seemed no worse for wear and I'm sure the burden will help scientists protect their shorebird brethren.

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