The American Oystercatcher Special Issue of Waterbirds is finally here!!! This Special Issue of the journal contains articles published from work that was presented at the Waterbird Society Meeting’s Oystercatcher Symposium in 2015. Many thanks to all of the contributors and especially to our editors from the AMOY Working Group: Pam Denmon, Felcia Sanders, and Ted Simons, and Waterbirds editor: Stephanie Jones for all of their hard work!
A link to the issue will be provided once it becomes available.
What do American Oystercatcher managers and scientists do for fun when they get together? Look for banded American Oystercatchers of course! In November, this year’s working group meeting in Wachapreague, Virginia, members came across a juvenile that had been banded in New York this summer (Orange YCK). She’ll face a lot of challenges before she becomes a breeding adult, but we’re glad she’s made it this far! Additionally, we found Black P7, an adult that was originally banded in the very same lagoon in which we spotted him in 2010. He’s never been spotted further south than Charleston, SC and has been repeatedly spotted in the same area of Virginia into late fall. This pattern is typical of oystercatchers on the East Coast of the United States, with those individuals originally hatched in areas further north head south during the winter, while some of those from further south stay close to home all year.
Have you seen a banded American Oystercatcher? Report it here!
Registration for the 2016 Annual Working Group Meeting in Wachapreague, Virginia (November 15-17) is now open.
This year’s meeting will be held in Wachapreague, Virginia at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Eastern Shore Lab’s Seaside Hall. The meeting will be two full days, with a half-day field trip. It will begin at approximately 8:00 am on Tuesday November 15th and adjourn at around 1:00 pm after the field trip on Thursday November 17th.
Click HERE for more details about the meeting and to register.
Please REGISTER BY OCTOBER 28TH.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources partnered with Coastal Conservation League and others to put a video camera on a seabird colony in Charleston Harbor. Hundreds of brown pelicans, royal terns, sandwich terns and some black skimmers nest on Crab Bank. There is an American Oystercatcher nest in the bottom left corner of the live feed. Two video cameras are pointed in opposite directions and the view switches every 15min. Two hours of video are saved so you can go backwards in time by moving the red dot to the left (to find the view with the oystercatcher nest). Enjoy!
The 2016 AMOY Working Group Meeting will be held November 15th – 17th in Wachapreague, Virginia. The agenda will consist of two full meeting days (15th and 16th) and a half day field trip on the 17th. More details to come. The local organizing committee is excited to have everyone here this year! If you have any questions about the meeting that will benefit the entire group, please send them via the list-serve. Any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask us off-line. Many thanks!
Danny Sauvageau took this photo of “AE” taking a drink of water on Outback Key near Ft Desoto on June 2, 2016 after discovering the oystercatcher with an active nest.
More information about Florida’s oystercatcher research and monitoring program can be found here.
Our own Tracy Borneman made it to the Condor’s Top Cited List with her publication documenting the heart rate responses of oystercatchers to human activity on Cape Lookout National Seashore! Congratulations to Tracy, Eli, and Ted for their well recognized contribution!
We’ve recently had several exciting re-sights in Central America of American Oystercatchers that were originally banded on the east coast of the United States. The first set came from John van Doort in Bahia de San Lorenzo, Choluteca, Honduras. He saw oystercatcher Yellow(AAR) this fall (2015) and winter (2015/16) and Red(CF) this month. Also, this month, Orlando Jarquin and Martin Vallecillo sighted ostercatchers Black(6F) and Red(48) in Delta del Estero Real in Chinandega, Nicaragua. It also turns out that this is not the first year that Black(6F) has wintered in Delta del Estero Real! These are the first records for the American Oystercatcher Working Group of banded individuals wintering as far south as Central America! Follow this link to learn how to identify the banding site of individuals based on their color bands.
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Audubon Texas are recruiting volunteers to monitor American Oystercatcher nests along the Texas coast. The groups partnered to conducted a pilot program in 2015 which was quite successful, so they are continuing the program in 2016–expanding it to other areas of the coast. If you live in coastal Texas and have access to a boat or kayak, please consider joining in on the fun to help conserve the oystercatcher population in this region! More information can be found by viewing this video.
In order to learn about behavior and population dynamics in American Oystercatchers, members of the working group band individuals with field readable bands, allowing managers and members of the public to report sightings of banded oystercatchers. Biologists can then use this information to better understand how to conserve the species.
In the spring oystercatcher pairs set up territories for breeding and nesting. Biologists often take advantage of this behavior in order to band individuals by using oystercatcher decoys and territorial vocalizations to attract pairs to traps. Ed Brackett has generously offered the American Oystercatcher Working Group the use of his new decoy design. Working group member, Eduardo Palacios, and his colleagues will be testing out the new decoys this coming spring as part of their banding program in northwest Mexico. Stay tuned to hear how well they attract our territorial breeding pairs!