Close
Close
Close

News

ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science is happy to announce the V. ÉLVONAL conference “Social behaviour, demography and conservation in shorebirds” during 14–15 January 2022, which will be held as an online meeting. Find attached the conference leaflet as well as the advert to the current PhD position within ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project: The conference will focus on current achievements and future plans of ÉLVONAL teams across the globe and will be enriched with targeted webinars. Any researcher, conservationist or student interested in breeding ecology of shorebirds can use this opportunity to join us from anywhere and discuss recent advances in the field. The conference participation is free of charge and registration is open until 31 December 2021. You can register here: https://forms.gle/rxpGkt7yrTra6PqE9 We are looking forward to meeting you online! Vojtěch Kubelka (on the behalf of the organizing team)   Featured image: Puna Plover (Charadrius alticola) together with wintering Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) at Andean altiplano in Peru. © Vojtěch Kubelka
V. ÉLVONAL Conference – virtual event and PhD position advert

ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science is happy to announce the V. ÉLVONAL conference “Social behaviour, demography and conservation in shorebirds” during 14–15 January 2022, which will be held as an online meeting. Find attached the conference leaflet as well as the advert to the current PhD position within ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project: V-ELVONAL conference 14-15 January 2022_flyer South Bohemia_CZ_PhD_Breeding ecology The conference will focus on current achievements and future plans of

On behalf of Thomas Lameris & Jeroen Reneerkens  
Dear fellow shorebird researchers, We would like to ask for your assistance in a project, where we aim to analyse how chick growth rates of shorebird species worldwide are impacted by changing climatic conditions. Project background and aim Unusual freezing conditions around the globe during this past winter, followed by record-high temperatures in large parts of the Arctic this spring, again form an example that the globe's climate will be more and more governed by extremes. Vulnerability of shorebirds populations to this changing climate has been predicted from modelling efforts, as well as shown by changes in reproductive success and body size for individual populations. It is likely that birds are especially vulnerable to effects of a warming climate and climatic extremes in early life, during the period of chick growth. We would like to initiate a project to compare chick growth rates in all shorebird species, where we want to make comparisons between species, populations / study sites and years, to study how variation in growth rate is possibly explained by climatic variation. For example, we expect that chick growth rate will be lower when chicks face temperatures below or above their thermoneutral zone, or during extreme climatic conditions such as prolonged periods of rainfall. We hope that this project can give us insights into the vulnerability of shorebirds to a warming climate, and whether species and populations may differ in their vulnerability. Request for data We are looking for data on biometrics (body mass, tarsus length, wing length, etc.) measured for shorebird chicks of any shorebird species. While data collected for chicks with known hatch dates is especially helpful, we consider any data to be useful for this project. We are interested in data from all shorebird species, and from as many study sites, populations and years as possible. This means that any data are valuable, also older data and data collected at atypical sites. We want to use these data specifically to answer the research question outlined above, which is expected to result in one, multi-authored publication, to which collaborators sharing data are invited as co-authors. We consider that data on food availability for chicks (e.g. data on arthropod abundance) is an important explanatory variable when studying chick growth. While we first want to focus on a large-scale comparison in relation to climatic variables only, we consider that a second step would be a comparison with data on food availability. If you have such data available for your population, please let us know and we will get in touch with you on this. Also, if you happen to know the existence of (unpublished) data by others, please forward this message and/or let us know. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Best wishes, Thomas Lameris (thomaslameris@gmail.com) & Jeroen Reneerkens (jeroen.reneerkens@nioz.nl)
Request for collaboration: chick growth rates & climatic conditions

On behalf of Thomas Lameris & Jeroen Reneerkens   Dear fellow shorebird researchers, We would like to ask for your assistance in a project, where we aim to analyse how chick growth rates of shorebird species worldwide are impacted by changing climatic conditions. Project background and aim Unusual freezing conditions around the globe during this past winter, followed by record-high temperatures in large parts of the Arctic this spring, again form an example that the globe's climate will

The IWSG Small Project Grants Committee have decided to extend the deadline for application to 15th December 2021. With this grant we aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money (currently 1000 Euros per project). About the grant: IWSG Small Projects Grants The application form: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IWSG-grant-application_28112018_form-Word.doc   The IWSG Small Grant Committee Yahkat Barshep, Birgita Hansen, Nils Warnock, Vojtěch Kubelka and Jannik Hansen   Featured image: Common Redshank Tringa totanus, April 2017, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA. ©Christoph Müller.
Extended deadline for IWSG Small Project Grant applications

The IWSG Small Project Grants Committee have decided to extend the deadline for application to 15th December 2021. With this grant we aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG

This year, we’d like to encourage you to get your artistic talents flowing by sending in your best designs to go on a T-shirt for IWSG! Currently we only have a few designs in our Teemill shop and we’d love to add to them with ideas from the wider wader and shorebird community. The winner of the competition will win a t-shirt with their design PLUS a year’s members to IWSG whilst the runner up will get a tote bag with their design. All shortlisted designs will be included on our Teemill shop. All proceeds from the sale of bags or clothing will be used to support the running of IWSG. Competition Rules: - Open to all over 18 who are part of the wider wader/shorebird community - Any design will be accepted as long as it has a wader on it, space for the IWSG logo (which can be small) and on a white background - Meaningful text regarding waders will be considered for inclusion. - Enter on which ever artistic medium suits – pencil and paper, water colours, PowerPoint, Photoshop but you will need to be able to scan the final image. Lines must be thick enough to see when printed on fabric (~2mm+) How to enter: - Send a scan of your final design with your name, email & the subject line “IWSG T-shirt Comp” to membership@waderstudygroup.org - Up to 3 entries per person are allowed and should be original and unique artwork - Closing date – midnight 23:59 GMT 1st January 2022. Full Terms and Conditions
Design a T-shirt for IWSG!

This year, we’d like to encourage you to get your artistic talents flowing by sending in your best designs to go on a T-shirt for IWSG! Currently we only have a few designs in our Teemill shop and we’d love to add to them with ideas from the wider wader and shorebird community. The winner of the competition will win a t-shirt with their design PLUS a year’s members to IWSG whilst the runner up will get a tote bag with their design. All shortlisted designs will be included on our Teemill

The IWSG Small Projects Grants aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money (currently 1000 Euros per project). In the below link you can find a description of criteria and the application form. The IWSG Executive Committee has appointed an evaluation committee that will judge the applications, and decide which project will be awarded. Application form: IWSG Small Project Grants Call Applications should be submitted by December 1st 2021, and a decision will be made before 1st of May 2022. Details on the previous recipients of the IWSG Small Grants there: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/projects/small-grants/   [caption id="attachment_15049" align="aligncenter" width="330"]Photo: Carolina Davila Sandra Giner & Virginia Sanz won the 2021 IWSG Small Project Grant to carry out shorebird survey in Margarita Island, Venezuela. ©Carolina Davila[/caption]
The 2022 IWSG Small Project Grant call is now open

The IWSG Small Projects Grants aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money

Hunan Global Messenger Technology Co., Ltd. (HQXS) is sponsoring the IWSG Conference 2021 by giving away six GSM/GPS transmitters to one conference participant. How to win the transmitters? Please find out at: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/#3
IWSG Conference competition for tracking studies

Hunan Global Messenger Technology Co., Ltd. (HQXS) is sponsoring the IWSG Conference 2021 by giving away six GSM/GPS transmitters to one conference participant. How to win the transmitters? Please find out at: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/#3

by Deborah Buehler originally published in Wader Study 128(2) Imagine that you’re a Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus, a relatively large shorebird, about 45 cm from head to tail. The tide is up (which means your workday is over), the sun has set, and now you need a safe place to rest – you and nearly 20,000 others. Where do you go? Can 20,000 large birds hide? In this issue of Wader Study, Sanders and colleagues describe a nocturnal roost site in South Carolina, which supports about 20,000 roosting Whimbrel.1 That’s nearly 50% of the eastern population and nearly 25% of the entire North American population. A roost is a safe place where a group of birds can settle to rest. Unlike a nesting site, roosts are for respite, not reproduction. For shorebirds, roosting usually happens when the tide is high enough to flood areas where the birds feed. At that point, the birds will fly to exposed dry land to take a break. Because tide times vary, roost times vary, and shorebirds rest by day (diurnal roost) or by night (nocturnal roost). Nocturnal roosts are often farther from mainland beaches and forests than diurnal sites. This offers better protection from nocturnal predators, such as owls, but it also makes these sites harder for both birds and humans to find. One wouldn’t think that 20,000 shorebirds would be easy to hide, but finding nocturnal roost sites is no easy task, even for large, well-studied species in a country relatively well-populated with ornithologists. Sanders and colleagues first discovered roosting flocks of Whimbrel on Deveaux Bank in 2014. Deveaux Bank is a sandbar at the mouth of the North Edisto River in Charleston County, South Carolina. It sits on the northeastern edge of the ACE (Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers) Basin, a 1,420 km2 multi-use conservation area. Though the island is about a kilometer squared at low tide, the ephemeral nature of the sandbanks means that only about a quarter of that remains dry at high tide for roosting. [caption id="attachment_15413" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Aerial view of the study site at Deveaux Bank (photo: Andy Johnson/Cornell Lab of Ornithology)[/caption] After finding evidence of the roost, the researchers returned to the site in 2019 and 2020 to find out how many birds used the area and to refine their nocturnal bird counting methodology. The team consisted of experts experienced in conducting surveys and estimating the sizes of large flocks. One to two researchers were stationed at four counting locations around Deveaux Bank allowing them to scan in all directions for arriving Whimbrel (see Fig. 1c in the paper).   Because Whimbrel rest when their feeding areas are covered by the tide, the researchers chose survey dates when high tide was within 125 minutes of civil twilight (the period after sunset when enough natural light remains that artificial light is not needed), so that foraging areas would be underwater near sunset. Also, all but one of the survey dates fell within three days of a full moon, which proved helpful as it allowed counting by moonlight when the sky was clear. Sanders and colleagues began counting as soon as flocks flying towards the sandbar were visible over the water (about 0.5 km away). Once on the sandbar, if the birds were disturbed, for example by a predator, the team subtracted any birds that left from their totals. If they settled again elsewhere, they were counted at the new location. This ensured no birds were double counted.   Not surprisingly, the main challenge in counting birds using a nocturnal roost is darkness. Many nights the researchers could hear that birds were still arriving after civil twilight, but it was too dark to keep counting them. Their nightly counts ranged from 8,974–19,485, with the highest count on a night when the moon was nearly full, and the sky was clear. That night 34% of all Whimbrel counted arrived after civil twilight and were counted by moonlight. It was the only night when counting stopped because birds were no longer arriving, rather than due to darkness.   This study reports several important findings. First, Deveaux Bank – a previously unknown nocturnal roost site – supports at least 19,485 roosting Whimbrel during peak spring migration. Whimbrel numbers have fallen nearly 50% over a 15-year period since the 1990s. Deveaux Bank now presents an opportunity to conserve and study a large part of the Whimbrel population. However, it also presents a risk – a lot of birds relying on a single, ephemeral sandbar for their survival.   Second, the researchers found that Deveaux Bank is likely important over a large area. Birds flew into the roost from all directions over the course of the evenings, first arriving from nearby inland marshes then, hours later, over the water from the south. This suggests that some birds are flying into the roost from long distances, implying that ideal roost sites are limited. Together, these first two findings emphasize the need to discover or create a network of alternative roosting sites for the long-term conservation of the species.   Third, the study spotlights the fact that, though difficult to find, once known, nocturnal roosts provide a way to survey large numbers of birds that would otherwise be uncountable as they forage over huge swaths of saltmarsh. Optimizing methods to count birds at roosts could give researchers a way to get more accurate population estimates and to track how populations are changing over time.   Fourth, this study shows the importance of both tides and lunar phase when choosing dates to count birds at nocturnal roosts. The optimal nights are the ones when high tide happens just before nightfall. Finally, selecting dates close to the full moon can help to ensure that birds arriving after civil twilight can be counted by moonlight if the skies are clear. The researchers recommend survey dates near the spring tide (the highest tides in the month), within two days of the full moon, when civil twilight and high tide are 30–60 minutes apart.   Shorebird populations are in steep decline around the world. By publishing their work, Sanders and colleagues have given us a better understanding of the importance of nocturnal roost sites and how best to survey them once found. Whimbrel are well-studied birds and their roost was found in a conservation area frequented by ornithologists. For less well-studied species migrating through less well-studied areas, far less is known about where birds roost, or even the larger geographic areas that they visit on their journeys. In this issue of Wader Study there are several papers describing the quest to determine where birds go, and which areas are essential to them. For example, Summers and colleagues used geolocator trackers to determine areas important to Wood Sandpipers Tringa glareola on their migrations between Scotland and West Africa.2 Adha Putra and colleagues used ground surveys to discover that the eastern coast of Sumatra is a significant wintering area for Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer – one of the most threatened shorebird species in the world.3   PDF version of this article is available for download here: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/article/15328/  
  1. Sanders, F.J., M.C. Handmaker, A.S. Johnson & N.R. Senner. 2021. Nocturnal roost on South Carolina coast supports nearly half of Atlantic coast population of Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus during northward migration. Wader Study 128(2): 117–124.
 
  1. Summers, R.W., B. Etheridge, N. Christian, N. Elkins & I.R. Cleasby. 2021. Timing, staging, speed and destination of migrant Wood Sandpipers Tringa glareola. Wader Study 128(2): 145–152.
 
  1. Adha Putra, C., D. Hikmatullah, I. Febrianto, I. Taufiqurrahman & C. Zöckler. 2021. North Sumatra is an internationally significant region for non-breeding Nordmann’s Greenshanks Tringa guttifer. Wader Study 128(2): 157–164.
Featured image: Video frame of Whimbrel at Deveaux Bank, South Carolina. ©Andy Johnson/Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Spotlight | Tides, twilight and the moon

by Deborah Buehler originally published in Wader Study 128(2) Imagine that you’re a Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus, a relatively large shorebird, about 45 cm from head to tail. The tide is up (which means your workday is over), the sun has set, and now you need a safe place to rest – you and nearly 20,000 others. Where do you go? Can 20,000 large birds hide? In this issue of Wader Study, Sanders and colleagues describe a nocturnal roost site in South Carolina, which supports about

Only recently we were hoping to meet in person this year, but the ongoing uncertainties regarding the health emergency have made the decision for us: the IWSG annual conference 2021 will be held online. The meeting will take place from the 8th until the 10th of October. For more information, registration and abstract submission, please visit: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/
2021 Annual Conference moved online

Only recently we were hoping to meet in person this year, but the ongoing uncertainties regarding the health emergency have made the decision for us: the IWSG annual conference 2021 will be held online. The meeting will take place from the 8th until the 10th of October. For more information, registration and abstract submission, please visit: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/. 

This year, the IWSG Small Grant Committee are very delighted to support two projects targeting breeding biology and requirements of lesser known and studied species and these studies will definitely add to new knowledge:
  • Hari Basnet: Breeding Biology of Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola in Lamtang National Park, Nepal
  • Sandra Giner & Virginia Sanz: Identification of potential WHSRN sites for the protection of breeding areas of two plovers of conservation concern (C. wilsonia and C. nivosus) in Margarita Island, Venezuela
Read the full announcement here: IWSG Small Projects Grants Featured image: Field work in Venezuela. ©Carolina Davila
Winners of the 2021 IWSG Small Grant Winners announced | The IWSG Small Grant Committee

This year, the IWSG Small Grant Committee are very delighted to support two projects targeting breeding biology and requirements of lesser known and studied species and these studies will definitely add to new knowledge: Hari Basnet: Breeding Biology of Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola in Lamtang National Park, Nepal Sandra Giner & Virginia Sanz: Identification of potential WHSRN sites for the protection of breeding areas of two plovers of conservation concern (C. wilsonia and C. nivosus) in

The Hannover-Hildesheim office of the Lower Saxony for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation Agency (NLWKN) currently seeking for an "International Strategic Planner (m/f/d) - Nature Conservation" at the Hannover-Hildesheim office of the NLWKN.
This fulltime employment, as temporary contract for 5 years, will focus on the processing and coordination of the Integrated LIFE-Project "Conservation of wet grassland breeding bird habitats in the Atlantic Region" (IP LIFE GrassBirdHabitats, LIFE19 IPE/DE/000004) linked with a plan for West Africa, an essential location for the migratory species.
This new integrated project would builds on the success of the previous LIFE project upscalling their actions over a wider range - in Germany and in The Netherlands and farthest in West Africa - and across a significant target group of grassland breeding bird including several threatened grassland wader species. Application are expected online by June 4th, 2021 for a start of contract "at the earliest possible date". All information about the position and application here!   Featured image: Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa, ©Peter van de Beek, 2013, Netherlands.
Position advert: International Strategic Planner | Life project “Conservation of wet grassland breeding bird habitats in the Atlantic Region”

The Hannover-Hildesheim office of the Lower Saxony for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation Agency (NLWKN) currently seeking for an "International Strategic Planner (m/f/d) - Nature Conservation" at the Hannover-Hildesheim office of the NLWKN. This fulltime employment, as temporary contract for 5 years, will focus on the processing and coordination of the Integrated LIFE-Project "Conservation of wet grassland breeding bird habitats in the Atlantic Region" (IP LIFE