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!
We had t-shirts made to help celebrate the 15th Annual Meeting of the American Oystercatcher Working Group! We currently have shirts left in sizes S, M, L, and XL. The cost is $20 for the t-shirt and shipping. Please contact Todd Pover if you are interested.
The Birding Wire has recently published Tracy Borneman and Dr. Ted Simons’ work, using digital video and audio recording equipment to assess responses American Oystercatchers to anthropogenic disturbances on barrier island beaches of North Carolina, found here: Digital and Audio Recordings Help Quantify Shorebird Disturbance. Their original work, published in The Condor, can be found here.