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Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Billy Brooks

Two Winter Survey Opportunities!

We need your help with the International Piping Plover Winter Census and Florida Winter Shorebird Survey. There are separate dates for each survey.  If you can only participate on one of the surveys, we ask you to prioritize the Piping Plover Winter Census, as this project dates back to 1991.

These surveys are geared towards experienced birders who can identify multiple species of wintering shorebirds and seabirds and are able to document banded bird codes. Instructions are below. 

International Piping Plover Winter Census (January 18th to February 1st): Every five years since 1991, hundreds of volunteers help to survey miles of coastal habitat (from North Carolina to Texas) to help document one of the most endangered shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere, the Piping Plover. We need your help to look for them and count them in Florida!  By surveying coastal habitats that are favored by this species—including beaches, tidal inlets and passes, tidal flats, sand bar islands, sand and mud flats—you can contribute to our understanding of the distribution and abundance of this species in Florida. In some cases a boat may be required to access habitat but most surveys generally involve walking transects. In addition to Piping Plovers we are also very interested in documenting Snowy and Wilson’s Plovers and Red Knots. Piping Plovers in Florida are generally found on sandy beaches, sandbars associated with inlets and passes, and sand flats or mud flats. Hence, for some sites there may be tidal considerations in optimally timing your survey. Click links for guide and census form.

Florida Winter Shorebird Survey (February 5th to February 11th): Florida’s annual Winter Shorebird Survey (a.k.a., the First Friday in February Survey) starts on Friday, February 5th and continues through Thursday, February 11th. This week-long survey serves as the official statewide “snapshot” of coastal wintering shorebirds and seabirds in Florida. Instructions and data sheets can be found by clicking here.

If you would like to participate in either of these surveys, please contact the Survey Coordinator in your region:

Please contact Billy_Brooks@fws.gov for questions.



FWC Audubon UFWS