Saturday, January 9, 2016

St Joseph Snowy plover back at Stump Pass for second winter

I just today (1.9.16) found an old friend- a banded Snowy plover (Bands: left lower leg blue, right lower leg yellow/green, right upper leg metallic band).  It appears this is the same snowy seen by me previously at Stump Pass last year (2.22.15) and by Jeff Bouton (11.1.14) at Stump Pass State Park just across the inlet.
It is recorded as being banded as an adult male at St Joseph State Park in the FL panhandle 7.31.14 where it was likely breeding.  It was last seen there 9.17.14. 
It appears that this is the second winter that this snowy has been seen in the Stump Pass area (Charlotte County, FL).  A very nice demonstration of wintering site fidelity and for the suitability of northern Palm Island as wintering habitat!
This is an example of the type of shorebird that will potentially be affected by dredging and sand re-nourishment on Manasota, Palm and Don Pedro Islands. But these birds are highly adapted to the shifting sands of the beach and will move around in response to sand pumping activities.  It is even possible that they could benefit from food uncovered by sand dredging.  In any case if you observe this particular individual it can be identified by its distinctive and unique leg bands.  There is a second banded snowy plover in the same area with yellow/yellow on the left upper leg and orange/black on the right upper leg.  So keep an eye out for these and other banded shorebirds and report the sightings to bandedbirds.org 
If anyone else has records of this individual please let me know.
Cheers- Bill Dunson
Englewood, FL

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