By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Coastal Shorebird survey results show gains for some species
Placeholder Image
BRUNSWICK — Early results from a January survey indicate higher numbers of several species of birds were on the coast this year.
Increases were seen in the number of several shorebirds, including short-billed dowitchers, dunlins, western sandpipers and semipalmated plovers.
The midwinter waterbird survey is an annual census done since 1996 and valued for the information gleaned on waterbird populations and roosting areas. Participants, many of them volunteers, counted an estimated 103,003 birds and about 40 species this year.
Rare species such as red knots and piping plovers highlight the Georgia coast’s importance as a haven for wintering and migrating waterbirds.
Waterbirds include shorebirds, seabirds, and wading birds. The survey, led by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, is joined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Georgia Ornithological Society, Audubon Society, St. Catherines Island Foundation and groups representing Little St. Simons and Little Cumberland islands.
Birders, packing scopes and checklists, scanned sand, sea and sky along the 14 barrier islands for about four hours during high tide, a time when most waterbirds are concentrated in smaller areas called roosting sites.
Species sporting leg bands — namely piping plovers, red knots and American oystercatchers — are recorded for researchers.
Making a donation through the “Give Wildlife a Chance” state income tax checkoff or buying a wildlife license plate supports such efforts.
The bald eagle and hummingbird tags are available for $25 at all county tag offices, by checking the appropriate box on mail-in forms or through online renewal at
The “Give Wildlife a Chance” tax checkoff is line 26 of the long tax form (Form 500) or line 10 of the short form (Form 500EZ). Simply fill in a dollar amount.
Sign up for our e-newsletters