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The

CONSERVATIONChronicle

A MANOMET CENTER FOR CONSERVATION SCIENCES PUBLICATION

JUNE 2014

PHOTO: BRADFORD WINN

IN THE FIELD
Researchers Race to Recover Geotagged Semipalmated Sandpipers
By Haley Jordan

n early June, two Manomet research


teams left for field sites in the Arctic
to conduct shorebird demographics
research and try to recover geolocators
placed on Semipalmated Sandpipers last
year.
Manomet researchers are conducting field
work at two sites: Coats Island in Canadas
Hudson Bay, which is the largest uninhabited
island south of the Arctic Circle in the
Western Hemisphere, and the Canning River
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Many long-distance migrant shorebird
species return to the same areas to breed

each year, making the birds Arctic breeding


grounds the only place to reliably study
individuals from year to year.
The Semipalmated Sandpipera small
shorebird that breeds in the Arctic and
winters in northeastern South Americahas
experienced dramatic population declines in
recent decades.
Semipalmated Sandpiper populations
have declined by about 80 percent in core
wintering areas according to surveys by the
New Jersey Audubon Society, without a
correspondent decline, as far as we can tell,
in some Arctic populations, said Stephen
Brown, director of Manomets Shorebird
Recovery Program. We dont know if the

species is declining rangewide, or just in some


areas, and we need to understand where and
why the declines are occurring so that we can
work effectively at reversing them.
The devices weigh only two hundredths of
an ounce and are equipped with light sensors
that use the time of day to track each birds
migration. If recovered, the geolocators will
provide a wealth of information about where
the birds are wintering and their migratory
patterns.
Researchers placed 192 geolocators on
Semipalmated Sandpipers at eight Arctic
Shorebird Demographics Network (ASDN)
field sites during the 2013 field season.
The ASDN is an international
continued on page 2

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE


Spring Landbird
Banding Season
Summary

Clear Water Carbon


Fund Plants 1,800
Trees

Monica Iglecia Joins


Manomet Shorebird
Recovery Team

PAGES 34

PAGE 5

PAGE 5

manomet.org

A RARE CATCH: This Summer Tanager was caught at the Manomet banding lab
during the spring season. The last time our lab saw this species was 1992.

continued from page 1

The information that can be retrieved from


the geolocators is like gold. Recovering even
a few of the units will provide critical new
information about where these birds are
wintering and which migratory paths they
are taking.
Below: The 2014 Coats Island shorebird research team. Clockwise from top left:
Brad Winn, Scott Flemming, Sarah Neima, Shiloh Schulte, and Karissa Reischke.
Bottom of page: A Semipalmated Sandpiper chick photographed by Manomet
researcher Ian Davies at the Canning River research site in Alaska.

PHOTO: BRADFORD WINN

The Manomet researchers will be sending


updates and photos via satellite phone
throughout the course of the field season.
Follow the progress of our scientists and learn
about what life is like at an Arctic shorebird
research camp on the dedicated blog:
www.shorebirdscience.org.

AT THE LAB
Spring Landbird Banding Season Sees Above Average
Numbers and Species Diversity
By Liza LePage

PHOTO: IAN DAVIES

Page 2

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences | June 2014

PHOTO: HALEY JORDAN

collaboration of 17 partners working at 16 field sites across the


North American and Russian Arctic to determine the causes behind
shorebird population declines. The project is led by Manomet, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Kansas State University.
During the 2013 field season, Manomet researchers placed 35
geolocators on Semipalmated Sandpipers on Coats Island and 29 on
birds at the Canning River. In the past week, the researchers have
already recovered three geolocatorstwo at the Canning River and
one on Coats Island.
The ultimate success of this project depends on our ability to
recapture the birds and remove the geolocators, said Manomets
Shiloh Schulte, who is part of the Coats Island research team. So
the pressure is on.
The Coats Island team will remain in the field until July 3, and the
Canning River team until July 16.
The information that can be retrieved from the geolocators is like
gold, Brown said. Recovering even a few of the units will provide
critical new information about where these birds are wintering and
which migratory paths they are taking. More importantly, it will
help us get at the real objectiveto fully understand the population
trends and wintering habits of this species so that we can help its
populations recover.

anomets
landbird
banders
handled a total of 1,966 birds of
72 different species throughout
the course of the spring banding season.
Thanks to three significant migration
days in May, the number of birds we captured
this season was slightly above average for the
decade in terms of captures per unit effort and
diversity of species captured, said Manomets
Banding Director Trevor Lloyd-Evans.
Some of the most unusual catches this
season were the first Summer Tanager
that Manomet has caught since 1994, the
second and third Orange-crowned Warblers
that Manomet has caught since 1970, and
Manomets first ever White-throated Sparrow
and Slate-colored Junco hybrid.
The banders also recaptured 123 birds
from previous seasons which provided
valuable information about the age structure,

stop-over ecology, and breeding patterns


of birds that breed in or migrate through
Manomet.
The most notable recaptures this spring
included a 7-year-old Song Sparrow and a
7-year-old Common Yellowthroat, both of
which were found in breeding condition.
Manomets banders also had 214 Gray
Catbird captures and 164 recaptures this
spring, more than doubling the total captures
of any other species. Catbirds are often the
most abundant bird caught at the banding
lab, but the recaptures this season could
provide additional information about the
species migration patterns.
Two of the Catbirds recaptured this spring
had been previously banded elsewhere, but
the banding lab is still waiting to recover
more information about who banded them.
The lab did discover, however, that a Catbird
banded at Manomet on June 13, 2013
was recaptured this spring on March 15 in

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences | June 2014

Smoaks, South Carolina.


continued with season summary on page 4

Below: Sasha Munters was one of this seasons four


dedicated landbird banders.
Bird Outline: This Canada Warbler was photographed at
the banding lab by bander Grace Alloy-Relihan.

Page 3

A group of visiting students from Manomet Elementary learn about the bird
banding process.

Clear Water Carbon Fund Helps Plant 1,800 Trees


to Restore Maine Sand Pit
PHOTO: HALEY JORDAN

Spring Landbird Banding Season in Short:


A Summary by Trevor Lloyd-Evans
New Bandings: 1,180
Repeat Captures: 786
Total Handled: 1,966 birds of 72 species
Our busiest days were 8th May (184
captures, 131 new bandings), 27th May
(175 captures) and 12th May (154 captures).
When compared with the previous ten
springs, 11 species were banded in record
high or high equal numbers; five record lows
(or low =). Unusual captures were the first
spring Summer Tanager since 4th June 1992,
the second and third spring Orange-crowned
Warblers since 1970, one Kentucky Warbler
and our first hybrid White-throated Sparrow
x Slate-colored Junco. The most abundant
new bandings in spring 2014 were:
Gray Catbird (214)
Common Grackle (56)
White-throated Sparrow (110)
Red-winged Blackbird (51)
Magnolia Warbler (107)
Swamp Sparrow (49)
Common Yellowthroat (88)
American Redstart (48)
Notable recaptures this spring (123 from
previous seasons) included a 7-year-old
Song Sparrow and a Common Yellowthroat.
We also recaptured one 6-year-old catbird,
eight 5-year-olds (Common Grackle, Yellow
Warbler and catbirds), and two 4-year-olds.
We have yet to hear who banded two foreign
recoveries (catbirds), but did hear that a
catbird (of course) that we banded 6th June
2013 was found in Smoaks, Colleton County,
South Carolina on 15th March 2014. Many
thanks to all the volunteers who helped make
the spring 2014 migration banding and

Page 4

education season such a success. We are also


greatly indebted for recent financial support
of these programs to Manomet members and
the following sources:
Charles Stanhope Adams Nature Research
Foundation
Brewster Research Endowment Fund
Rosalie Cheney Fiske & John Fiske
Educational Fund
Jean K. Colvin Endowment Fund
William Drury Memorial Fund
Ruth Graves Ernst Memorial Fund
Helen Haber Memorial Fund
Burr Hardon Intern Fund
Melita Seipp Howland Conservation Science
Endowment
John P. Droege Scholarship Fund
Dorr Foundation
Malcolm Oakes Memorial Fund
Dorothy Stebbins Bowles & Chester Bowles
Endowment
Makepeace Neighborhood Fund
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Mattie VandenBoom and Grace AlloyRelihan were the indefatigable staff banders
and teachers this spring, with timely
assistance by interns Lauren diBiccari and
Sasha Munters. A huge thanks goes out to
this incredible team of banders for their hard
work and dedication this season.

Photos on right from top to bottom: Mourning


Warbler (Grace Alloy-Relihan), Banding Director
Trevor Lloyd-Evans with a Northern Flicker
(Haley Jordan), 7-year-old Song Sparrow
(Haley Jordan), Kentucky Warbler (Haley
Jordan).

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences | June 2014

n early June, volunteers planted 1,800


trees to restore a retired sand pit in
Harrison, Maine, called Moon Valley
to create wetlands and establish native
vegetation.
Manomets Clear Water Carbon Fund
(CWCF) partnered with the Western
Foothills Land Trust, Maine Natural
Resource Conservation Program, and the
Casco Bay Estuary Partnership on the 14acre project.
The goal of the collaboration was to
improve wildlife habitat at the abandoned
sand pit and protect the water quality of the
Crooked River, which was given the highest
classification by the Maine Department
of Environmental Protection for having
outstanding water quality, aquatic habitat,
and scenic and recreational value. The
Crooked River supports a healthy native
Brook Trout fishery and is highly valued for
its fly fishing opportunities.
The CWCF is a program that works with
community groups to plant trees along
deforested river banks in New England,
protecting clean water
and wildlife habitat
while absorbing

carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Funding


for the CWCF comes from individuals and
businessespurchasing trees to protect water
quality in their own communities.
At Moon Valley, the CWCF provided
funding for 800 riparian and upland trees,
and Manomet Program Manager Ethel
Wilkerson oversaw the planting process
to ensure that each tree was planted in the
correct location using the proper planting
techniques.
The project brought in over nine tons of
soil and other organic materials to create
wetlands and nourish the vegetation and trees
that will inhabit the site. Volunteers spread
a variety of specialty wetland grass seed and
straw mulch across the site before planting
1,800 bare root trees which were selected for
their adaptation to wetland, riparian, and
upland environments.
The restoration of Moon Valley brought
together funds and expertise from a number
of different organizations and volunteers to
complete this important habitat improvement
project, Wilkerson said. What was once
a barren and abandoned parcel now has a
complex of wetlands and 1,800 new trees
that will provide wildlife habitat, improve
air and water quality, and sequester carbon
for years to come. I am proud that Manomet

and the Clear Water Carbon Fund were able


to be a part of this restoration project.
Planting volunteers included a large group
of homeschooled students and their parents,
a high school biology class, members of the
Western Foothills Land Trust, and Manomet
staff members and their families.
I was overjoyed to plant trees in the
company of a family of ducks that was
nesting near a pond that did not exist prior
to this project, said Lee Dassler, Executive
Director of the Western Foothills Land
Trust and the brainchild of the Moon Valley
restoration project.
Over the past two years, the CWCF
has planted thousands of trees along rivers
in Maine and Vermont. Additional 2014
plantings have occurred in the White
River watershed in Vermont and in the
Androscoggin River watershed in Maine.

PHOTO: ETHEL WILKERSON

By Haley Jordan

Meet Monica Iglecia


By Haley Jordan

etland and shorebird specialist Monica Iglecia joined


Manomet this month as the new assistant director of the
Shorebird Habitats Project.
I am excited to join the Shorebird Recovery Program at Manomet,
Iglecia said. I have been impressed by the quality of the conservation
work led by Manomet and I am thrilled to work alongside this
impressive team dedicated to the future of shorebird populations.
Iglecia will be working with Shorebird Habitats Project Director
Brad Winn to increase the capacity of both public and privately-owned
wetlands to benefit shorebirds throughout North America. She will
be working with national wildlife refuges, state wildlife management
agencies, farmers, and private organizations to incorporate shorebird
habitat needs into current wetland management practices.
In August, Iglecia will co-lead a shorebird ecology, conservation,
and management workshop in New Brunswick, Canada.

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences | June 2014

Iglecia has been working on bird conservation for over a decade and
has extensive experience collaborating with a variety of stakeholders
on conservation projects.
She most recently served as a conservation project director at
Audubon California, where she led their Bird Friendly Farming
Initiative. She worked with farmers, industry, public agencies, and
other conservation partners to enhance the value of agricultural lands
and managed wetlands to achieve large-scale conservation impact for
shorebirds in Californias Central Valley. She also led a diverse array
of shorebird conservation projects, including research focused on
interviewing wetland managers to assess current practices and future
capacity to manage habitat for shorebirds.
With her experience and expertise, Monica will be instrumental
in getting land management techniques that benefit shorebirds into
practice across the country, Winn said. With her passion for wildlife
and wetland conservation, she will quickly become an integral part of
Manomets shorebird recovery team.

Page 5

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