Old acquaintances

One of the firsts posts, from 3 June, reported a few sightings of colour-ringed Golden Plovers. Since then, we have searched the study areas intensively for returning individuals, recognizable by colour-rings and/or geolocators. Resightings of individuals provide information on, for example, survival rates and site tenacity. In the case of birds ringed as chicks, it also shows natal philopatry – a term for the return of individuals to (the vicinity of) their birthplace. We are of course particularly interested in all individuals equipped with geolocators, as the data stored in these tiny devices will show us their whereabouts during the non-breeding season… To read the data however, we have to retrap them – but they need to be relocated first!

Previous years, we not only colour-ringed Golden Plovers, but also Dunlins and Long-tailed Skuas. Furthermore, Golden Plovers, Long-tailed Skuas and a few Red-necked Phalaropes were equipped with geolocators.

Until now, more than 20 Golden Plovers ringed as adults have been seen this season, most of them breeding in the same territory as last year. Also, several Dunlins have been resighted, but not all of the ringed individuals.

Due to the late snow-melt this year, we had to wait a long for the Red-necked Phalaropes to start breeding activities up on the tundra. Only since the last few days we have been able to search for them, which has not produced any resightings (yet!). Hopefully, we can report the return of these birds in the next week!

One of the resighted colour-ringed Long-tailed Skuas.

Being a non-breeding year for Long-tailed Skuas, this season is rather problematic when it comes to resighting of this species. Nevertheless, six colour-ringed adults and the old metal-ringed bird (see the blogpost from 11 June) have been resighted, most of them within their previous years’ territory. Although it seems that virtually all Long-tailed Skuas have left the study areas, there are still occasional sightings of flocks roaming over the tundra. We will keep our eyes open for any colour-ringed birds!

Colour-marked Golden Plover resighted in the study area
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One thought on “Old acquaintances

  1. accesoalatierra June 26, 2012 / 12:01 pm

    nice picture!
    I miss you. Interesting post about behavoiur.
    Good luck team!

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