Posted by admin | Under Bird Topics
Thursday May 13, 2010
Posted by admin | Under Recent Field Trips
Thursday May 13, 2010
The Delaware Dunlins Youth Birders Club is offering commemorative 2010 Delaware Bird-A-Thon Bird Bands to help support the acquisition of migratory bird habitat. Scientists use bird bands to help study migratory birds, and these bands are specially made to support Delaware’s migratory birds.
Dunlins are one of the many migratory bird species that flock to the First State, and our club is helping to protect more habitat for all our feathered friends.
The red-colored bands are made of durable aluminum and read “Delaware Bird-A-Thon 2010.” Each band is individually numbered in this limited edition series, from 1 to 500.
These eye-catching bands make a great statement on a keychain, binocular strap, or on your outdoor gear. Show your support for conservation in a bold way!
Bird-A-Thon Bird Bands will be on sale from May 8 to June 12, at a price of $10 per band. A special drawing will be held on June 16 at the Delaware Bird-A-Thon ceremony to award great prizes to lucky winners based upon their unique band number. Get your hands on some bands!
Contact Derek Stoner, Delaware Dunlins Program Coordinator, for more information about purchasing Bird-A-Thon Bird Bands. (302-893-8426 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Every dollar goes to protecting habitat through the Migratory Shorebird Habitat Acquisition Fund created by the Delmarva Ornithological Society. Thank you for your tax-deductible donation!
Posted by admin | Under Upcoming Field Trips
Wednesday May 5, 2010
Masses of horseshoe crabs seethed along the sandy shoreline at Mispillion Harbor, as the flocks of shorebirds descended to gorge on the millions of freshly-laid crab eggs. Our small flock of Delaware Dunlins gathered on the deck at the DuPont Nature Center, eagerly watching the shorebird spectacle unfold before us.
Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, and Short-billed Dowitchers probed the sand for the nutritious crab eggs that will fuel their northward migration. We saw small numbers(maybe a dozen)of the endangered Red Knots mixed in, and more knots will arrive in the next two weeks. Of course, we had to pose with the giant Red Knot at the entrance to the nature center. How many eggs could he eat in a day?!
The loud and colorful American Oystercatchers(above) squabbled as they fed on shellfish exposed by the low tide. We also saw the graceful Black-necked Stilts, Black-bellied Plover, and Semi-palmated Plovers. This is shorebird paradise! The Peregrine Falcon that flew right in front of us also was enjoying the shorebird show, but with the thought of lunch on his mind.
We headed over to nearby Slaughter Beach to enjoy a picnic lunch and check out the spawning horseshoe crabs. At low tide, the crabs had dug into the sand to protect themselves from drying out. We found hundreds of crabs, and dug into the sand to reveal some of their emerald green eggs.
We wrapped up our great spring shorebird migration outing with a special demonstration. With our best acting skills, we pretended to be part of a shorebird banding team, capturing birds to study. We “marked” our youth birders with a unique Delaware Bird-A-Thon 2010 bird band, that we affixed to their fingers(the bands are too small to fit on their legs like a bird!) The bird bands are part of a unique program that the Delaware Dunlins are offering to help raise funds for migratory shorebird habitat acquisition through the Delaware Bird-A-Thon. (more information about the program is above)
The Mispillion Harbor and Slaughter Beach area is one of the very best places in the world to watch the shorebird and horseshoe crab spectacle. We hope all of you can visit this special place and witness an incredible natural phenomenon. Check out the DuPont Nature Center’s website for more information: http://www.dupontnaturecenter.org/
Visit the amazing DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, the gathering place for huge numbers of migrating shorebirds that feed on horseshoe crab eggs. Flocks of the endangered Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstones, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, and Dunlins stage here before flying to their Arctic nesting grounds.
While birding, we will be taking part in two great events: Delaware’s Spring Roundup and the Delaware Bird-A-Thon, helping to count birds for science and conservation purposes. At the best time of year to see the most variety of birds, we’ll visit DuPont Nature Center to watch for Red Knots and other shorebirds in the famous Mispillion Harbor. You can meet the world’s largest Red Knot statue outside the center!
After a picnic on the beach, and listening for Clapper Rails in the marsh, we will bird the nearby Milford Neck Wildlife Area to look for neo-tropical migrants. We will try to locate 60 species or more in 3 hours. Can we do it?
Date: Saturday, May 8, 10:00am to 1:00pm
Getting There: Easily reached off of Route 1, just south of Milford, DE. Visit the DuPont Nature Center’s website for directions and a map: http://www.dupontnaturecenter.org/visiting.html
What to Bring: Binoculars, camera, water bottle, bag lunch, beach towel, sunscreen
We will meet at 10:00am on the front deck of the nature center, where we will watch the shorebird show. See you there!
- Derek Stoner