After banding Piping Plovers along the Lower Platte River in eastern Nebraska for the last 10 years, and banding a total of 809 plovers, we just received our first report of one of our Piping Plovers in Mexico! Over the years, 98 plovers originally banded along the Lower Platte River in eastern Nebraska have been re-sighted in their winter range during the non-breeding season. However, all of these re-sightings have been in the United States along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida and along the southern Atlantic coast from Florida to South Carolina.
On 17 December, 2017 one of our plovers (pictured above), sporting a light blue flag on its upper left leg, green over yellow color bands on its lower left leg, a uniquely numbered metal USGS band on its upper right leg and gray over green color bands on its lower right leg, was re-sighted and photographed by Eduardo Pacheco at Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo state – north of Cancun, Mexico. This plover was banded on 26 June 2017 as a 1-day old chick at a sandpit lake near Ashland, Saunders County, Nebraska. This plover was last observed in Nebraska on 19 July 2017 as a 23-day old, nearly fledged chick.
It is pretty amazing that at only 6 months old this plover was able to fly over 1,500 mile and cross the Gulf of Mexico to spend the winter along the southern tip of Mexico!
Thanks to Eduardo Pacheco, Barbara MacKinnon de Montes, and Cheri Gratto-Trevor for providing us with this re-sighting information.