Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

A partnership to study and conserve this migratory shorebird's endangered population between UMN, USFWS, USGS, NPS, DNR, more & You!

Update on 2015 Rescued Captive-Reared & Released GLPIPL

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As a GLPIPL fan you know that part of what we do is rescue captive rearing for any eggs that might be compromised during the breeding season. This means that if eggs are abandoned by the parents, washed out during a storm, predated, or otherwise threatened, we will bring them into our Detroit Zoo sponsored captive rearing facility. Here zookeepers from around the country raise the chicks until they fledge (able to fly). Then the chicks are released back into the wild. The chicks are released with a band combination that includes an orange flag as well as a “split” or bi-colored band. The captive raised birds are the only ones with this pairing which allows anyone on the beach looking at the birds to instantly recognize if a banded piping plover is a Great Lakes captive reared bird. There are so few of these special GLPIPL that seeing one in the wild is not very common…

2015 Rescue-Captive Reared & Released GLPIPL, band combo Of,b/OG:X,G --seen August 2015 on Kiawah Island, South Carolina by Paula R. Feldman

2015 Rescue-Captive Reared & Released GLPIPL, band combo Of,b/OG:X,G –seen August 2015 on Kiawah Island, South Carolina by Paula R. Feldman

We currently do not use any special devices such as geolocators or gps satellites to track the birds, only the leg bands. Thus, we rely on people to follow the plovers throughout their annual life cycle. We have a large crew made up of monitors, the banding crew, and more in the Great Lakes region during the breeding season. However, we rely on winter volunteers and citizen scientists for the rest of the year, which essentially means anyone who sees a plover August through May and lets us know about it.

Recently, three 2015 rescued captive-reared and released GLPIPL were seen and reported to us (please send any reports to plover@umn.edu). This is incredibly exciting for both the people that found these birds and for us. We know that these two individuals not only were successful migrating to their non-breeding grounds but that they are also doing well overall.

The first GLPIPL was seen recently (August 2015) on Kiawah Island, South Carolina by Paula R. Feldman. This plover’s band combo is read Of,b/OG:X,G. This translates to orange flag on upper left then light blue above orange split band above dark green band on lower left followed by aluminum metal band on upper right then dark green on lower right. This bird came from a nest near the Platte River mouth where the mother had been predated.

2015 rescued captive reared chick Of,b/OY:X,B --seen August 2015 on Little Talbot Island, Florida by Pat and Doris Leary

2015 rescued captive reared chick Of,b/OY:X,B –seen August 2015 on Little Talbot Island, Florida by Pat and Doris Leary

The second GLPIPL was seen recently (August 2015) on Little Talbot Island, Florida by Pat and Doris Leary. This plover’s band combo is read Of,b/OY:X,B. This translates to orange flag on upper left then light blue above orange split band above yellow on lower left followed by aluminum metal band on upper right then dark blue on lower right. This bird came from a nest that was predated by chipmunks. Only one egg was viable after the event.

2015 rescued captive-reared GLPIPL -- seen August 2015 by Kevin Christman in the Florida Panhandle

2015 rescued captive-reared chick Of,b/OL:X,L — seen August 2015 in the Florida Panhandle by Kevin Christman

This translates to orange flag on upper left then light blue above orange split band above black band on lower left followed by aluminum metal band on upper right then black on lower right. This bird came from the same nest as Of,b/OG:X,G near the Platte River mouth where the mother had been predated.

If you see any banded Piping Plover with orange bands (the Great Lakes indicator color) please email us your sighting at plover@umn.edu with as much information and detail as possible. Pictures of the bird being reported are greatly appreciated.

For assistance on reading the color bands please check out our permanent page with more details and examples.

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3 thoughts on “Update on 2015 Rescued Captive-Reared & Released GLPIPL

  1. Excellent! Details noted for winter watch on Abaco! RH

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of,b/OY:X,Y is one of this summer’s Captive-reared chicks. We collected the eggs from a nest near the mouth of the Platte River (not the Platte you’ve heard of) in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore after the female disappeared…likely due to Merlin predation….and the male stopped incubating. After being raised in captivity until it was very proficient at flight it was released near wild-raised chicks of similar age, but not in the area where Merlins were active. Exciting to see that its made its way to FL. He was found on Anclote Key State Park in Pinellas County FL by Danny Sauvageau

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  3. Pingback: | Plover Lovers

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