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Tracking Erwin: 5 years & 87 days later

Lauren DinanContributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist

Erwin has once again safely made it back to Florida and is set to spend her sixth winter in a row in the sunshine state!  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 five years we have been tracking Erwin’s movements across the United States and she has successfully made the 1,000 plus mile journey between Nebraska and Florida a total of 11 times. That means that Erwin has flown well over 11,000 miles so far in her lifetime.

Erwin feeding along the shoreline at Bunche Beach near Fort Myers, Florida. Photo taken by Meg Rousher on 22 August 2016.
Erwin feeding along the shoreline at Bunche Beach near Fort Myers, Florida. Photo taken by Meg Rousher on 22 August 2016.

Erwin was first sited at Bunche Beach, located near Ft. Myers, Florida, in November 2011 and has been observed at this same beach every winter since then. This year, Erwin was first reported at Bunche Beach by Meg Rousher on August 17th, 2016 and was again reported on August 22nd, 2016. Erwin has been reported at Bunche Beach a total of 78 times.

The graphic below provides a brief history of Erwin’s escapades (click the graphic to enlarge).

Timeline of Erwin’s life.
Timeline of Erwin’s life.

Nongame Bird Program

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

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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