Below is good information to keep handy as you are out birding and surveying, and the plovers begin to migrate along our coast. Thanks for all of your keen eyes and reporting of banded plovers!
See this call for assistance from the US Fish & Wildlife Service:
While you are dusting off your spotting scopes and finding your posts and twine, please don't forget to watch for banded and flagged piping plovers that may only stop briefly at your sites on their way north. If you do see a marked bird, we implore you to send a prompt report (and photo, if available) to the contacts below.
Remember that a flag on a bird without lower leg bands will be coded (i.e., it carries alphanumerics that are essential to identification of the bird).
- Black, gray, or white coded flags with two alphanumerics: Please report to email@example.com.
- Uncoded black flags (with bands): Please report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Green flags (coded and uncoded): Please send reports to email@example.com. Some of the green flags are coded with three alphanumeric characters, but other pipers carry an uncoded (plain) green flag along with lower leg bands. If you are sharp enough to detect a blue band on the upper non-flagged leg of a green flag bird, please also copy your report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pink coded flags on the upper leg with two alphanumeric characters: Please report to BahamasPIPL@audubon.org with a cc email@example.com.
- Orange flags (uncoded) and bands: Please report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Color bands on only the upper legs and no flag: Some of these have one band on each upper leg, some have two bands per upper leg. Please report to email@example.com with a cc to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please copy me (email@example.com) on any report that includes information about a leg injury on a piping plover carrying bands and/or flags. The banders would also appreciate reports of "okay" banded/flagged legs if the observer was able to make a careful assessment of leg condition.