A project of The Center for Conservation Biology.
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Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2008-08-14 00:00:00
Release Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA
Last Location: 2008-11-17 00:00:00
Fall and Winter 2008: This whimbrel was captured on 14 August 2008 at a stopover site in The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coastal Reserve. The stopover habitat is a saltmarsh lagoon system with an abundance of fiddler crabs for prey. When the whimbrel gained enough body fat to continue migration south, it flew non-stop 2435km to the island of Mayaguana in the Bahamas. The sudden stopover was due to the presence of a Hurricane Hannah, a Category 1 hurricane, which caused the whimbrel to shift gears and make an emergency stop. While on the island of Mayaguana, Hurricane Ike, a Category 4 hurricane strafed the island. The storm hit the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 135 mph and with stronger gusts. The eye of the hurricane passed roughly 50 miles to the south of Mayaguana. The closest island, Grand Turks, reported 90% of structures were damaged. Luckily the whimbrel survived the storm and then flew to coastal Guyana in South America. While there, the whimbrel's transmitter stopped sending signals. We didn't know what the fate of this bird was until we resighted it back in Virginia (within 200 yards of initial capture location) in August of 2009, presumably stopping over before heading down to South America again.