New shorebird refuge in Barbados

This video says about itself:

American Golden Plover

In late molt to non-breeding plumage. Apparently a third record for Rockland County New York. Filmed at Piermont Pier August 17 2009

From BirdLife:

‘No-shooting’ shorebird refuge established in Barbados


BirdLife International has created Barbados’ first shorebird refuge at an abandoned shooting swamp at Woodbourne, close to the village of Packers. Woodbourne is a four hectare swamp on the flank of the St. Philip Shooting Swamps Important Bird Area (IBA), at which hunting and maintenance ceased in October 2004. Two former hunters were instrumental in securing the lease and financing the initial restoration of Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge. Restoration work started in May and the swamp was ready for the 2009 southbound, autumn migration.

Barbados is an important stop-over site for tens of thousands of Nearctic-nesting shorebirds on their southbound migration to South America where they pass the non-breeding (southern summer) season. Adverse weather in the Atlantic during their flight can force large numbers to stop for shelter on the island, but 15,000-30,000 of these shorebirds – including a number of species of conservation concern – are shot in a handful of managed shooting swamps. …

One leading swamp no longer hunts American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica (which has a global population of just 200,000 individuals), most swamps (seven out of 10) no longer use tape lures to attract birds, and those hunters who maintain swamps year-round (instead of only during the hunting season) are helping provide vital wetland habitats for all waterbirds. …

Twenty species of shorebird have been observed this season, five of which were USFWS Species of Conservation Concern. A flock of more than 70 Snowy Egrets and a few Little Egrets (an Old World species, now established in the New World in Barbados and Antigua) coming to roost in the wooded ‘back swamp’ was a highlight. Two Eurasian Spoonbills that arrived in the St. Lucy Shooting Swamps IBA during November 2008 are regular visitors among a host of resident and migratory waterbirds.

Scientists are gleaning insights into the feeding and flight behaviors of shorebirds that come together in large flocks: here.

The Antiguan Racer: Quite Possibly The Rarest Snake In The World.

Conserving migratory land birds in the New World: Do we know enough? Here.

All across North America, one of the sure signs that spring is on the way is the return of the migratory birds: here.

Differences in plumes of Little and Snowy Egret: here.

4 thoughts on “New shorebird refuge in Barbados

  1. Saving waterbirds in Barbados – Fifteen to thirty thousand shorebirds are shot each year in a handful of managed shooting swamps on Barbados on their southbound migration. However, the tradition of hunting migratory shorebirds is changing. The old culture of ‘kill as many as you can’ is being replaced by a conservation ethic among hunters. Maintaining artificial wetlands year-round is playing an active part in the conservation of target and non-target shorebirds and other waterbirds. BirdLife International has been working with two former hunters to secure the lease on a four hectare abandoned shooting swamp as a shorebird refuge. Now restored, the refuge is a safe haven for thousands of waterbirds. This is only the beginning! There are other abandoned shooting swamps that are available for lease, and that could help form a strategic network of conservation wetlands in Barbados. Please help us raise funds to move this exciting program forward in 2010 and 2011.


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