On Friday I spotted two banded Piping Plovers and wrote the following day to Dr. Cheri Gratto-Trevor, who is a research specialist with the Canadian government and also the point person for reporting sightings of banded Piping Plovers from Canada. Plovers with white or black bands, and metal bands on the opposite tibia, are from Eastern Canada. Many thanks to Cheri for responding so quickly with with some fascinating information!
Cheri writes, “White 6U is band 2651-85405, banded as an adult male on 30 May 2018 at Big Merigomish Island in N Nova Scotia. He nested in that general area (James Beach) in 2019 and 2020. His black flag was faded so replaced with white flag 6U in the summer of 2020 (see, it was worth the effort in a pandemic, Julie!). He winters in the Bahamas (Man of War Cay, Abaco). The only other time he was reported from migration was fall 2018 in NC (South Point Ocracoke).
Black flag UU (terrific to get such a good photo of the faded code – you’ll have to go after her this summer, Julie) is band 2231-06500, banded as a chick on 19 July 2018 at Pomquet Beach, also N NS. She nested at East Beach, PEI in 2019, but then returned to nest at Pomquet Beach NS in 2020. She has never previously been reported from the non-breeding season, so we don’t know where she winters.
It will be interesting to see if they mate together in N NS this summer! (Normally pairs just meet up on the breeding grounds, so it’s probably unlikely).
Very much appreciated!! (and no, we don’t name our birds).
Now we can add Massachusetts to their migration route!
On April 16th in 2019, a banded Piping Plover from Cumberland Island Georgia was spotted at Good Harbor Beach. We learned that only five days prior to arriving at GHB, he had been seen at Cumberland Island, approximately 1,140 miles away. If any of our readers are so fortunate as to spy a banded Plover, here is the link with color coded guidelines: Great Lakes Piping Plover Color Band Information. And link to the GHB-Cumberland Island PiPl:
The black banded Plover was very tricky to photograph because the white painted letters had worn away. I tried my best to take a photo with the band in full light, not shaded, so we could see the engraved code.
I wish there was a more comprehensive map that clearly labels Canadian, American, and Bahamian PiPl locations and am thinking about making one.