Ipswich migrations

4 02 2013
A banded Ipswich Sparrow running along the beach this January.  Photo courtesy of Paul Gildersleeve.

A banded Ipswich Sparrow running along a beach on Long Island, NY, this January. Photo courtesy of Paul Gildersleeve.

The Ipswich are on the move!  With successful banding and radio tagging completed on Sable Island in August, we have been eagerly watching as the results have been coming in.  With our radio towers set up along the coast of Nova Scotia, we are hoping to learn more about their initial southward migration along the coast.  Although most birds are now out of range of these towers, we still want to hear what the Ipswich are up to!

Previous studies have shown that male and female Ipswich Sparrow’s winter separately, with males wintering as far north as Nova Scotia, and some females making it as far south as Florida.  Any resightings of banded birds along their migratory route or on their wintering grounds will help us increase our knowledge of this species later in their migratory journey.  They prefer sandy dune habitat along the coast and can be tricky to see foraging low on the ground.

So far there have been 2 reported sightings of banded Ipswich Sparrows.  Both were seen on January 11th 2013; one adult female on North Monomoy Island MA, 850 km from Sable Island, and a juvenile on Long Island NY, 1180 km from Sable.  Both these birds were banded on Sable Island in the spring of 2012 and it’s very exciting to hear they made it safely down south for the winter.

Thank you to those who have already reported color banded Ipswich, and please keep a lookout for any others and report sightings to Zoe at zcrysler@gmail.com.

Zoe Crysler

Wolfville, NS

Standing upright on xxx beach, this purple banded Ipswich was banded as a nestling on Sable Island in early June 2012.  Photo courtesy of Paul Gildersleeve.

This purple banded Ipswich seen on Long Island, NY, was originally captured and banded as a nestling on Sable Island in early June 2012. Photo courtesy of Paul Gildersleeve.

A red banded (adult female) and purple banded (first year bird) Ipswich Sparrows were spotted on their wintering grounds i the eastern USA.

Red banded (adult female) and purple banded (juvenile) Ipswich Sparrows were spotted on their wintering grounds in the eastern USA.

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3 responses

4 02 2013
Linda Granfield

That’s exciting news, Zoe! Amazing how far such tiny birds can go! Thanks for the blog. Linda

12 02 2013
Gulls love New York « Sable Island Gulls

[…] it moved a little further south to New Jersey for the winter.   Last week we posted an entry about Ipswich Sparrows on the beaches of Long Island, NY.  Now, on new year’s day 2013, Herring Gull AFX was spotted on the shorelines of Long […]

28 02 2013
Nanaimo, B. Cl

I searched the Illustrated Natrual History of Canada 1970, The Atlantic Coast (publisher Jack McClellend), for my granddaughter, Blayne, as an adjunct to Rachel Carson’s (northeastern US) children’s books which she loves. I was looking for the Canadian connection.

In the book, as a birder, I discovered the Ipswich Sparrow, but at that time it was threatened by pesticides and preditors as well as erosion. My Google search brought me to your blog. Thankfully today, you do not mention pesticide threat and report very interesting work with the sparrow Preditors?

Here in Nanaimo, we are always delighted to observe the Savannah Sparrow, especially at the Nanaimo River Estuary, which exists with log booms nearby!

Thank you! Betty Shaw in Nanaimo, B.C.

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