You might be interested to know that there is a huge effort to band and track shorebirds underway in the Gulf of Mexico and some of these birds may come your way at some point. I was at Don Pedro Island State Park yesterday on the SW coast of FL and was pleased to see a flock of about 85 red knots feeding in the surf.
I did not have binoculars since I was “beaching” with the grandkids but did have my trusty 18x camera. I took some random photos and was surprised to find that 5 of the birds were banded in an unusual way. There is the usual silver metallic USFWS band on the ankle,but also a colored strip with letters and a number. So for example in the photo attached the code seems to be upper right leg/light green/JN4.
I found a website which solicits reports on such banded birds:
The website allows you to report your findings and check on previous reports of the individual sighted. This particular group of red knots has been working its way up and down this coast between Clearwater and Sanibel Island since banding. But they will be heading north I suppose to Delaware Bay in the Spring.
So look closer when you see some shorebirds and maybe you will be able to help solve some of nature’s mysteries, the migratory movements of our wonderful shorebirds.
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL, and Galax, VA