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Canadian ringed plover - an update

5 September 2014

An email exchange with Don-Jean, the student responsible for the ringed plover ringing programme in the Canadian Arctic, has provided a bit more information about 'Napoleon', including a photograph of the nesting site on Bylot Island where he raised 4 young.  

Napoleon nested on the shore near to the field camp on Bylot Island (Photo: Don-Jean Leandri-Breton)

In the background you can see a collection of tents, these make up the field camp where Don-Jean lives and works during the breeding season.    It's pretty remote! A truly remote field site on Bylot Island (Photo: Don-Jean Leandri-Breton)

Breeding grounds of common ringed plovers at Bylot Island (Photo: Don-Jean Leandri-Breton)




Turns out that the plover spotted at Chesil Beach is one of Don-Jean's birds which means our record of Napoleon loses its status as being the first sighting of a Canadian-ringed bird in the UK. But, unlike Napoleon, the Chesil Beach plover does not have a geolocator so Don-Jean relies heavily on observant bird watchers logging their sightings of this bird.     Napoleons rings and geotag clearly visible



Don-Jean has his fingers tightly crossed that Napoleon will survive over winter and successfully complete the long journey back to Bylot as he needs to recapture the bird to retrieve the geolocator and all its precious data.  He is, however, optimistic that Napoleon will return describing the plover as "...a tough bird, very aggressive to other plovers and predators and always having troubles with his neighbours.  He was heavy for a male and struggled a lot during the banding."    Hopefully, this feisty attitude will keep Napoleon safe during the year ahead.Napoleon with his rings at the breeding site in Canada (Photo Don-Jean Leandri-Breton)











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