Banded Knots on Longboat Key

This afternoon, while walking along the beach on Longboat Key, Florida, I came across a flock of thirteen red knots; on closer inspection, I discovered that three of them had multiple leg bands of various shapes and colors.

Over the past few decades, ornithologists and conservation organizations have been banding certain species of shorebirds, attempting to document their seasonal ranges and migration patterns.  Participating countries along the Atlantic flyway have been assigned specific band colors and banding site codes have been used to clarify the movement of the birds.  Unfortunately, the latter codes (printed or engraved on the bands) are often difficult to read unless a spotting scope is available or, of course, the bird is dead.

Once I documented the color and type of bands on the red knots (only one of which contained a code), I submitted the report to www.bandedbirds.org; in addition, I established a profile with that organization, hoping to submit additional sightings over the coming years.  After all, most conservation organizations depend on both financial and active support from the public and those of us who care about the welfare of threatened species and endangered ecosystems relish the opportunity to participate in their vital work.