Annual Shorebird Count on Montserrat Begins

Sargassum at Marguerita Bay on the North Eastern coast. Shorebirds love to forage in this near the waters edge. (DOE Photo)

It’s time to count the birds.

A team from the Department of Environment has begun the annual shorebirds survey which will cover four beaches.

The annual count is part of a regional programme by Birds Caribbean and runs until September 9, 2020.

Stephen Mendes of the DOE explained that land bird numbers tend to be better indicators as they are good measures of forest health and important in seed dispersal.

The birds on the survey list are migratory and as the island’s habitats have been degraded over the years, they are not hanging around for long and move on to other islands with more wetlands.

The reintroduction of wetlands may see an improvement in numbers. The Montserrat National Trust is currently working on a project to do this.

The surveys are being conducted on Marguerita Bay, Carr’s, Pipers Pond, Old Road and Isles Bay. The public can also conduct their own count and submit to Birds Caribbean.

“Our migratory shorebirds are more vulnerable than ever, threatened by human activities that have changed or destroyed their habitat. Most species of shorebirds are in decline around the world.

“While you will find them on shores and beaches, some shorebirds use habitats further inland, including freshwater and brackish marshes and ponds. Shorebirds are also fond of salt ponds, mud flats, mangrove areas, and tidal flats,” says the Birds Caribbean website.

Don’t forget to enter your checklist in eBird Caribbean and share the checklist with WorldShorebirdsDay. bit.ly/WSD_2020

Download a free coloring book about shorebirds here – http://bit.ly/SNPLColoringBook

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