On Sept. 7, SCCF staff and 10 volunteers divided into small groups to cover the East End of Sanibel Island for shorebird counts as part of World Shorebirds Day. A total of 1,532 individuals of 25 species of birds were counted. To see the detailed list of Sanibel sightings, visit SCCF’s tally on eBird.
“The terns and gulls were in a feeding frenzy over the water, making the count especially challenging,” said SCCF Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht. “The most common species observed were Sandwich terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis), laughing gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla), and sanderlings (Calidris alba).” Eight federally threatened red knots (Calidris canutus) and four state-threatened snowy plovers (Charadrius nivosus) were also observed.
Next year, Albrecht plans to expand the survey by enlisting more volunteers to cover a larger area. “We are grateful to all the volunteers who came out to help,” Albrecht said. “There was so much interest in this event, we will be planning a virtual shorebird ID class in October as well as guided walks.”
Stay tuned to upcoming Connecting You to SCCF e-newsletters for details on educational shorebird events.