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Tracking Erwin: 4 years & 136 days later

Lauren DinanContributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist

Erwin has been spotted again!  As many of you know, Erwin is our famous Piping Plover that hatched at a lakeshore housing development in Dodge County, Nebraska, in June 2011.  Over the last 4½ years we have been tracking Erwin’s movements across the United States.  We are able to track Erwin’s movements because we placed colored leg bands on Erwin when she was a 3-day old chick back in 2011.  We have tracked Erwin’s movements by monitoring her and all the Piping Plovers nesting along the Lower Platte River in eastern Nebraska during the breeding season and by receiving reports from citizen scientist across the United States during the non-breeding season.  The graphic below provide a brief history of Erwin’s escapades (click the graphic to enlarge).

Timeline of Erwin’s life over the last 4½ years.
Timeline of Erwin’s life over the last 4½ years.

Erwin was first sited at Bunche Beach, FL in November 2011 and has been observed there every winter since then.  We just received our most recent report of Erwin from Meg Rousher on October 30th, 2015.  This is the 64th winter observation of Erwin.

Erwin feeding along the shoreline at Bunche Beach near Fort Myers, Florida. Photo taken by Meg Rousher on 30 October 2015.
Erwin feeding along the shoreline at Bunche Beach near Fort Myers, Florida. Photo taken by Meg Rousher on 30 October 2015.

Thanks to all of the individuals that have reported Erwin and other color banded plovers observed along the coast during the non-breeding season.

Nongame Bird Program

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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