Sunday, January 30, 2011

American Oystercatcher Odyssey

In one of my first blogs, I mentioned that I photographed a banded American Oystercatcher on Martha's Vinyard.  The date was 14 September 2009.  I finally have some data on this bird from the bander, Sean Murphy:

"this bird has quite a story.  

"P3 was banded as a chick in 2006 on a beach in Nantucket called Quaise.  Since then it was observed in VA for the 2007 winter.  Then, P3 disappeared for a year only to show up in August on Coatue, Nantucket, MA in 2008 (but not breeding ... yet).  P3 returned that fall to winter in VA.  In 2009, P3 jumped islands to West Tashmoo, Martha's Vineyard and found a nice stretch of beach to nest! Unfortunately, their  nest was unsuccessful.  Not too surprising for an oystercatcher trying to nest at 4 years old.  

"As a bird of patterns, P3 returned to the eastern shores of VA for the 2009/2010 winter and returned to State Beach in Oak Bluffs, [Martha's Vineyard] to nest with another banded oystercatcher, EH.  Strike two ... their 2010 nest attempts failed.  After that season, what else to do but return to the winter grounds...As of November 2010, P3 has been observed enjoying the life at its winter home in VA."

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