In a single flock of about 40 red knots I spotted two birds marked with light green flags on their legs containing a specific individual code. I entered this information on a website to determine the history of each bird: http://report.bandedbirds.org/ReportResighting.aspx
Red knot UN4 was an especially interesting case since it was banded Jan. 1, 2007 on Sanibel Island, FL. It has subsequently been re-sighted a total of 8 times on Sanibel, Palm Island, in the FL panhandle, and north of Jacksonville, FL. It appears this may be a knot that winters in FL and migrates to the Arctic to breed. Some fly all the way to southern South America to spend the winter. It is remarkable that this red knot is thus proven to be at least seven years old since it was banded.
Red knot 5A0 was banded Oct. 18, 2011, on the coast of South Carolina. It has been re-sighted five times in SC, Sanibel Island and on Palm Island. It is at least two years old.
I am always dumbfounded by data of this type. It is incredible that we can make such observations on birds, and even more amazing that these shorebirds can survive for so long while making such remarkable migrations. Red knots face many hazards in the natural and human-dominated world. Let us resolve to do what we can to make their struggles easier.