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World Shorebirds Day at Long Key

September 6, 2014
Sketch of the lone Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) found this day at LKSP. The bird paused and faced the wind as it was about to rain.

Field sketch of the lone Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) found this day at LKSP. The bird paused and faced the wind as it was about to rain. By Rafael Galvez.

Today we participated in the World Shorebirds Day event at Long Key State Park (LKSP). Although we have been conducting surveys for all bird species at that location, this event gave us an opportunity to highlight the importance of Florida Keys habitats for shorebirds. We joined efforts with LKSP to raise public awareness, and created educational material and opportunities for visitors to participate in our research.

Field sketch of a Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) as it worked the wrack line. By Rafael Galvez.

Field sketch of a Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) as it worked the wrack line. By Rafael Galvez.

Although we had miles of transect counts to run and a hawkwatch to monitor, I took a bit of extra time to sit by the shoreline and do a few watercolor sketches of my favorite plovers. It rained, the wind went from still – perfect for the thousands of sand fleas – to gusty, picking up sand and foam. Finally the sun came out; temperatures rising to 91 F (32.7 C) degrees. All the while, flocks of shorebirds worked the wrack line, and as I sketched, I was allowed brief snippets into the complex lives of a number of fascinating birds.

Sketching shorebirds at Long Key State Park.

Thank you to all those that participated, and I hope to see you there again tomorrow!

Shorebird Species tallied during World Shorebirds Day – September 6, 2014 at Long Key State Park:

Spotted Sandpiper
Black-bellied Plover
Wilson’s Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
Killdeer
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Marbled Godwit
Short-billed Dowitcher
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
(Western) Willet
Solitary Sandpiper

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2014 6:04 pm

    Thanks for being a part of this initiative! The response from birdwatchers was mind-blowing and data sharing is under way now! Thanks again!

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