James Bay Shorebird Project 2018

Longridge Point from 31 July to 13 August - Page 4 of 10


Banding Research with Ross Wood

A new international research project involves tracking Lesser Yellowlegs, whose population has declined markedly in recent years. Hunting mortality on the wintering grounds is a serious threat, along with other factors. Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs on 6 August 2018.


The James Bay Project received 9 satellite transmitters to place on adult Lesser Yellowlegs to help researchers know their migratory routes, wintering areas, survival and their genetic differences. The transmitters are expensive (around $4000 each) and are affixed to adults not juveniles because mortality is high in the first year of life. Molting adult Lesser Yellowlegs on 12 August 2018.


The transmitter with an antenna is very light and the adult has to weigh at least 80 g.


The transmitter has a harness and is affixed to the bird's back.


The Lesser Yellowlegs receives a unique white flag for Canada, a metal band with a unique number, and a green band for James Bay. Blood and feather samples were taken for sexing and isotope analysis. 9 August 2018.


This juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs also receives a unique white flag and metal band and a green band for James Bay. blood and feather samples are taken but it does not receive a transmitter. 6 August 2018. Most of the yellowlegs at this time are juveniles as most adults have migrated.


On several days I assisted Ross Wood with banding, and was impressed with the amount of physical work and precision involved. I learned a lot. Ross has just taken these birds out out of the nets. They were extracted right away. 9 August 2018.


On 6 August 2018, the first Hudsonian Godwit for the project, OH2, was banded and flagged. In total, Ross flagged 4 Hudsonian Godwits: OH2, OH3, OH4 and OH5. James Bay is a major staging area for the eastern North American population of Hudsonian Godwits breeding around Hudson Bay. They fatten here and molt, and most will fly nonstop to South America. Ontario's large breeding population nests on the Hudson Bay coast. We have a big responsibility for their conservation.


OH2 spread wing showing the white flash and white rump. 6 August 2018.


OH3 was the second Hudsonian Godwit to be flagged


Ross holding OH3 to show the dark axillars on 6 August 2018.


Isabel banded Hudsonian Godwit OH4 on 9 August 2018.


Now go to page 5 - Shorebird & Yellow Rail Banding