[CT Birds] 1/13 - Fairfield, Simsbury

Alex Burdo aburdo10 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 13 19:51:48 EST 2013

>From Alex Burdo:
1/13 - Fairfield, Penfield Reef -- 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, 1 GREAT
CORMORANT, 1 Ruddy Turnstone, 35 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin. eBird checklist:

Among the thirty-five Sanderlings was one poor individual that appeared to
have some short of shell stuck to its leg. The shell was obviously causing
this bird discomfort, as it was continuously flapping about, trying to
dislodge it. When in flight, it was forced to hold its leg down to
compensate for the shell, which caused extreme drag that made this bird
slower than its congeners. Blood was apparent on the leg and the belly
feathers around the start of the visible leg area. The feathers in this
area also appeared quite unkempt, suggesting it hadn't been able to preen
properly. There is no doubt this little guy is under extreme stress, and
I'm concerned that his injuries will cause him to perish in the long run.
The slow, non-aerodynamic flight is especially suggestive of an end at the
hands of a Peregrine Falcon or other predator, while the obvious areas of
bleeding on the leg are very indicative of a possible infection in the

Is there anything we can do for this guy? It was able to fly, so the only
thing I could think of is to capture it using the classic net for shorebird
banding, and then slowly and carefully cutting off the shell.
Unfortunately, I have neither the equipment, nor the permits for doing such
a thing. I know shorebird banding is done in Connecticut during the peak of
shorebird migration, so the equipment must be around somewhere. Would
anybody with the tools and right qualifications be willing to help this
bird? It would be so sad to see such an unlucky injury turn into the death
stroke for this guy. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'll try to
post photos of this bird soon.

On another note, Jim Orrico and I made a stab at the six Pine Grosbeaks
that have been hanging around Simsbury Farms Park. In over three hours at
the location, we weren't able to catch a whiff of grosbeak anywhere,
although the presence of an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk at the beginning of
our visit might've had something to do with it. Three other birders stopped
by over the course of our stay.

Sorry for such a long message. Good birding everyone!

Alex Burdo

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