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10/23/2013

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American Pipit pilot monitoring project



The American Pipit is a lovely songbird, often associated with shorebirds because of similar life histories.  Like its shorebird counterparts, the American Pipit summers among the moss-covered, rocky hills on the bleak coast of Labrador, along the Arctic tundra to northern Alaska, and on the west coast of Greenland.

As soon as the young birds are able to care for themselves the Pipits gather into flocks and begin to migrate, leaving their breeding grounds before the end of August.  The American Pipit winters in the mid United States and along the Gulf coast.

A pilot monitoring project was initiated by Nigel Shaw, TTPBRS coordinator.  Although there were many observations of Pipits in previous years, this curious little bird has only been recorded in small numbers at Tommy Thompson Park.  Nigel is hoping to capture and band a good sample of the birds that are passing through, and hopefully learn a little more about the species.

To date, the Pipit Project has been a success.  Volunteers at the research station have witnessed 100's of American Pipits flying through the park during this fall migration.  Tommy Thompson Park is on a significant migration route for this species.  41 individuals have been banded since the project began.