HALIFAX RIVER AUDUBON
A Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society
Serving greater Daytona Beach area
Founded 1923

 

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Volunteer with Marine Discovery Center to restore oyster beds

Volunteer for 2014 Summer Sea Turtle and Shorebird Nesting Season

Tips for Better Wildlife Photography

APRIL 6, 2014 - Red Knots, Calidris canutus, are "widespread and common but quite localized" according to The Shorebird Guide by O'Brien, Crossley and Karlson.  So if one lives in/near one of the widely scattered breeding grounds in the high Arctic, they are a common sight.  For the rest of us, we revel in sighting even small groups of them as they migrate from South America to the Arctic.  HRA Board Member Dan Gribbin was on hand to capture the photos above during the Volusia County Shorebird Survey on February 14, 2014.

Long-distance spring migration takes place between mid-February and mid-June with birds wintering in South America gradually moving northward.  Their numbers peak in Brazil in later April-early May.  From there, many of the birds fly non-stop along the Atlantic coast, stopping in staging areas like the shore of Delaware Bay.  Red Knots time their arrival in New Jersey to the egg-laying season for Horseshoe Crabs.  After gorging themselves on crab eggs, the Knots make another non-stop flight to breeding grounds in Canada.  Interestingly, Red Knots which winter along the coast in southern US and Central America likely fly non-stop to a staging area long the Pacific coast where they feed and build up reserves before flying directly to their breeding grounds in Alaska.  Some one-year old birds remain on their winter groups throughout the summer while others migrate only partway.

Fall migration begins in mid-July and lasts through mid-November, with the adults leaving first.  Juveniles spend several additional weeks at the breeding grounds and then head directly to the coasts in one long flight.

This is a chunky, short-billed, long-winged shorebird with a relatively non-descriptive plumage in winter.  They measure about 10.5 inches in length and weigh 4.7 ounces, with females slightly larger than males.  However, in spring the adults are unmistakable, sporting robin red breasts. 

Population numbers of Red Knots are declining for a variety of reasons.  Scientists use band sightings and reports to help track these long-distance travelers.  Specifics from the leg band of the bird on the right were given to the appropriate officials following the survey.

Facts above were gathered from The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley, Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman and The Shorebird Guide by O'Brien, Crossley & Karlson.

 

Florida's Water & Land Legacy Amendment -- now classified as Amendment 1 -- will be on the ballot in November 2014.  If passed, 33% of the State's documentary stamp tax revenue (paid when real estate is sold) will be dedicated to land conservation, provide for outdoor recreation, managing existing lands and protection of lands critical to the water supply.  This is NOT a new tax, just an allocation of what is already being collected.  The amount of money collected by Amendment 1 from the existing stamp tax amounts to less than 1% of the State budget.  For more information, visit the official website by clicking on the link below.

Florida's Water and Land Legacy official website
If you would like to receive email communication directly from the Legacy site, please click here.

 


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