Fascinating History of a Banded Dunlin

Here’s some exciting insight into the life of a banded Dunlin that was reported recently by Mr. Andreas Kim and Dr. Kim Seok-Yee:

Dear Dr. Kim Seok-Yee and Andreas Kim,

This e-mail is to respond to your reporting a banded dunlin (green flag with engraved markings AUE) being resighted at Aphae Island (south: N 34°51’0.21″ / E 126°19’41.12″), South Korea on 8 April 2012.

This bird has a fascinating history from our work at Barrow so thought I would take a few moments to write this down. We seldom have birds with so much history. The bird is a male based on genetics and morphometrics, it’s metal band number is 1681-81031, and it currently has engraved green flag (AUE) over a red band on upper left leg, a USGS numbered metal band on lower left leg, nothing on upper right leg, and a dg, r, and y band on lower right leg.

History of the Bird at Barrow, Alaska:

1. originally banded in Barrow (71.29653N, 156.64734W) on 19 June 2003 on a nest (marked -/r,gf : m/db,o) – nest found by Rick Lanctot, bird caught by Rick Lanctot

2. no nest found but resighted on 7 July 2004 near B6 in plot 2 (similar area as 2003 nest)

3. captured again in Barrow (71.29579N, 156.65479W) on 27 June 2005 on a nest and equipped with radio transmitter using harness to look at movements of dunlin from breeding areas to coastal sites in Alaska – nest found by Rick Lanctot, bird caught by Greg Norwood

4. no nest found but resighted on 9 June 2006 near B1 in plot 1 (close to old nest sites)

5. captured again in Barrow (71.29883N, 156.64054W) on 14 July 2007 during post-breeding (with brood) and no evidence of transmitter — Jimmy Choi and Chung-yu Chiang caught bird in mist net

6. bird not seen in Barrow in 2008

7. captured again in Barrow (71.29569N, 156.64919W) on 20 Jun 2009 on nest and color bands changed (marked gf,y/m : lb,dg/dg) – nest found by Charlie Governali and bird caught by Brooke Hill; Charlie also resighted this bird multiple times and noted that it had to be at least 8 years old.

8. captured again in Barrow (71.29563N, 156.65182W) on 21 June 2010 on nest and color bands changed again (marked gfe,AUE,r/m : – / dg,r,y) — nest found by Mona Man-Yu Yang and bird caught by Rick Lanctot

9. captured again in Barrow (71.29569N, 156.64919W) on 25 June 2011 on nest — nest found by Jeisson Zamudio and bird caught by Andy Doll

Over these years, it was:

1. caught with a walk-in trap (1x), a mist net (1x), and a bownet (4x)

2. had radio transmitter attached with harness in 2005 for Audrey Taylor’s postbreeding movement study, and glue on radio transmitter attached in 2009 for brood survival study

3. between 20 and 300 microliters of blood was collected each time it was caught
– two times blood collected for stable isotope analysis (Andy Doll’s
study – 2010, 2011)
– once for contaminant analysis
– once for RNA Later (immunity)
– two times for sexing, paternity, population genetics

4. weight varied between 47 and 57 grams during each capture

5. swabbed for avian influenza 3x – all negative

6. had flight feathers (either 5th primary, 6th primary or 7th primary on each side) and breast feathers pulled in three years for stable isotope study

7. had fecal sample collected 1x for Kirsten Grond’s gut microbiota study

8. habitat features of nest sites and how they have changed through time will be used by Jenny Cunningham’s habitat selection study

9. contributed data to two PhD projects (Audrey Taylor, Kirsten Grond), three MS thesis projects (Brooke Hill, Andy Doll, Jenny Cunningham), and several other studies being conducted by other non-student researchers (e.g., avian influenza, RNALater, Hg exposure). In addition, the blood and feathers that are archived may be used by future students and researchers.

Of five times the bird nested at Barrow, it:

1. initiated a nest on 9 June 2003, 8 June 2005, 6 June 2009, 13 June 2010, and 14 June 2011
2. failed in 2003, hatched young in other 5 years
3. nest in the same nest bowl in 2009 and 2011
4. nested with the same female in 2003 and 2005, and a new but the same female in 2009, 2010 and 2011

People history:

Knowledge gained on this bird was collected by:
1. six U.S. citizens
2. one Colombia citizen
3. one Hong Kong citizen
4. two Taiwanese citizen
5. two South Korean citizens (folks who have resighted the bird just now)

Richard Lanctot, PhD
Shorebird Coordinator, Alaska Region
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Management
1011 East Tudor Road, MS 201
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: 907-786-3609
Fax: 907-786-3641
e-mail: richard_lanctot@fws.gov

One comment on “Fascinating History of a Banded Dunlin

  1. What a spirited and courageous little bird. Sometimes I think we really misunderestimate birds, their lives and intelligence.
    I wonder if the researchers have given a name to this particular indivdual…?

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