The Center for Conservation Biology is collaborating with Dalhousie University and Acadia University (Canada) and private/state/federal agencies in an effort to better understand Ipswich Sparrow winter demography. Ipswich sparrows are a subspecies of Savannah Sparrows that spend their lives in the narrow ribbon of dune habitat along the Atlantic Coast. The entire population breeds on one small sandy island (the aptly named Sable Island) off the coast of Canada. In migration and winter, they occupy coastal dune habitat primarily along the mid-Atlantic from New Jersey to North Carolina.
Many birds have been banded on Sable Island through the years and we began banding birds from Virginia to Delaware in the winter of 2017-18. We have ramped up banding efforts this winter and would appreciate any birds resighted during your birding endeavors to be reported so we can add their information to our database. Two areas that we have managed to saturate and are within the public's reach are the dune habitat at the northern tip of Grandview Preserve in Hampton and adjacent to the parking lot at Tom's Cove (Chincoteague NWR). We've also encountered a few sparrows originally banded at Sable Island in those areas. We do have banding locations in other states, including Cape Henlopen, Fenwick Island, and Delaware Seashore State Parks in Delaware, Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, the "Wild Beach" section of Chincoteague NWR, and Currituck National Wildlife Refuge and Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.
These birds wear five total bands: a split color band and aluminum federal band on one leg, and three color bands on the other leg. Thus far, blue/red, and yellow/orange split bands indicate the bird was banded between Delaware and North Carolina, yellow/green split band indicates the bird was banded by collaborators in New Jersey, and white/red or white/black split bands indicate that the bird was banded on Sable Island. Ipswich sparrows spend a lot of time foraging (and running) along the ground so the use of a camera can be super helpful in obtaining and confirming resights.
Please report resights and photos to <chhines...><mailto:<chhines...> When reporting please include the following details if/when possible:
1. Date, location, and time of day bird was resighted 2. Which band colors were seen and on which legs-We read bands bird's left leg to bird's right leg, top to bottom. A good example of how to report: Left Leg: Blue/Red Split over Aluminum Right Leg: Red-Yellow-White 3. Observers-yourself and anyone else was present 4. Effort-how much time you spent looking for 5. Comments-i.e. were there multiple banded birds together (total #), were there any unbanded birds (#), behavioral observations, etc. 6. Attach any photos
Citizen scientists play a vital role in so much of our research here at the Center for Conservation Biology. We value your efforts on behalf of this species.