Date: 9/30/19 10:35 am
From: Tom Crabtree <tc...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Snowy Plovers, Clatsop County
Cool stuff! Thanks for the report, Dave and the excellent photos, Owen.

Tom Crabtree, Bend

From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of DJLauten and KACastelein
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2019 10:00 AM
To: <obol...>; Owen Schmidt
Subject: [obol] Re: Snowy Plovers, Clatsop County

Hi Owen

Great to see reports/photos of banded plovers!

For people who have never seen a banded plover, we read the bands left leg to right leg, up to down. So in this case we have three individuals:

G/R/G:R, R/O/R:B, and what looks like A/R/A:B.

What we see here are three birds banded as chicks at the hatching, so they are banded with what we call a "triple stripe" on the left leg (sometimes we use a "double stripe"), and a solid plastic band on the right. The triple stripe is vinyl tape over a Federal band. The right leg donates what year the birds were banded in, and the left leg tells us what brood it came from. Adults can be banded with 2 color bands on each leg.

The colors are G - green, R - red, B - blue, O - orange, A - aqua

G/R/G:R was banded at South Siltcoos, Lane Cty on 6/22/2018. So this is a one year old bird. I am uncertain of sex as the bird is facing away and it is fall when most birds are in alternate plumage (ie, non breeding) and thus are often difficult to sex.

R/O/R:B - this is a hatch year 2019 bird from Coos Bay North Spit, banded on 7/11/19. Typically juvenile plovers can be told from adults by their scaly plumage, caused by the fine white edging on the feathers. As the fall progresses the edges wear off and the plovers become harder and harder to distinguish from adults.

A/R/R:B - this is also a hatch year 2019 bird from South Tenmile, Coos Cty banded on 7/7/19.

Some might surmise that a blue band on the right leg means it is a HY2019 bird, and this is generally true. However we also used Orange on the right leg for some broods this summer.

Thanks for the report, much appreciated!

Some might notice that these birds actually dispersed north and did not migrate south. This is normal. Plovers can be migratory, or non migratory. They will disperse in both north and south directions. Some birds winter further north than they breed. Some birds never leave their breeding sites and are present year round. Some birds just migrate short distances, some migrate as far as the Channel Islands, San Diego, and Baja California. There is little rhyme or reason to this as far as we understand. What we do know is that they have high site fidelity in both winter and summer - once they establish a wintering area or a breeding area, they almost always return to those areas in subsequent years. Some birds live only a few years, some live many years, with our oldest individuals in Oregon in the 15 year range. The oldest known individual is a bird born in Oregon, but is a Humboldt Co California breeder/winterer. As of this past summer, he is 18 years old and still producing chicks.


Dave Lauten

Oregon Biodiversity Information Center

Institute for Natural Resources

Portland State University

On 9/27/2019 9:27 PM, Owen Schmidt wrote:

….. this morning, a flock of 6 on the ocean beach north of the Peter Iredale, 3 of which were banded. Photo below. Also one Snowy Plover on the river beach, unbanded. With Jack Kiley and John Elizalde.


Friday, September 27, 2019

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