Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, White-faced Ibis, and a call for shorebird survey help

In the bird news department, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was found today at Brigantine a.k.a. Forsythe NWR in the field where the loop road leaves the marsh, on the left.

A White-faced Ibis turned up at Heislerville amidst the piles of glossies there. It's been seen in both impoundments. Pete Dunne just called me (5:20 p.m.) to report he found it on his way home in the "second" impoundment - not the one that had the Curlew Sandpipers last year, but the one further around the route. The tide is down at the moment, in case that impacts where the bird goes. Pete says it doesn't have white on the face but has bright pink facial skin, red knees, and there is golden sheen evident on the folded wing.

NJAS's Citizen Science program is still in need of volunteers to conduct spring shorebird surveys in many of the best sites in Cape May County The survey requires once-a-week visits from May 1st until June 4th, 2008. The purposes of the surveys are to:

Monitor trends in population size.
Monitor shorebird use at stopover sites.
Determine distribution, abundance and habitat use.

All shorebird species are counted. This work is important. This won't be news to most readers, but populations of many species of shorebirds have declined over the past three decades. Of 35 species of North American shorebirds for which analyses are available, 28 (80%) show negative trend values, and 19 show statistically significant or persistent declines.

If you can help, please contact: Nellie Tsipoura
email: nellie.tsipoura AT
11 Hardscrabble RoadPO Box 693, Bernardsville NJ 07924tel.(908) 766-5787 / fax (908) 766-7775

Folks looking to sharpen their skills on spring shorebirds (perhaps in preparation for volunteering for future surveys!) should check out our Northbound Shorebirds workshop May 20-21.

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