Red Knots and Shorebird Surveys - North Point, James Bay

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16 July to 14 August 2011

Endangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot fattening on the extensive mudflats at North Point in southern James Bay, Ontario. After feeding and undergoing a body molt for up to about 21 days, Red Knots leave James Bay for wintering areas in South America. Photo: 4 August 2011.


In 2011 we operated three camps in southern James Bay: North Point is 25 km north of Moosonee, Little Piskwamish Point is about midway between North Point and Longridge Point, which is 60 km north of Moosonee.


I thank Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for inviting me to join the survey team. Other members were Barb Charlton, Antonio Coral, Kevin Hannah, Roy John, Mike McMurtry, Doug McRae, Mark Peck, Ron Ridout, Emily Rondel, Don Sutherland, Minnie Sutherland, and Aus Taverner. Special thanks to Ken Abraham, Rod Brook and Sarah Hagey of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and Christian Friis of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) for their support. The Royal Ontario Museum study of Red Knots and shorebirds is a cooperative project with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Wildlife Service, Natural Heritage Information Centre of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (NHIC), and the Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN). 


Gravel bar near North Point on 14 August 2011. The wide tidal mudflats and coastal marshes of southern James Bay are of international importance to an estimated over 2 million migrating shorebirds.


Celebrity Red Knot TY with an orange flag, which was put on in Argentina in March 2006. TY was first sighted at North Point on 26 and 29 July 2011. It flew to Longridge Point where it was last seen on 11 August 2011. In 2010 TY stayed for 18 days at Longridge, making it our longest staying knot. Photo on 26 July North Point by Jean Iron.


The yellow pack on this Red Knot's left leg is a datalogger for recording daylight hours. If this knot is recaptured, researchers can track its migration routes. The datalogger was put on in the USA. Photo by Doug McRae at Little Piskwamish Point on 3 August 2011.

Now go to Page 2 - Shorebird Flocks