Showing posts tagged as "aviary"
Think you travel a lot? The diminutive red knot probably has you beat, traveling from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego—a distance of 9,300 miles each way—each year. And it does it all under its own steam.
We just added two of these long distance flyers to our Aviary exhibit. You can also view them on our live web cam.
While red knots could put most business travelers to shame, ours have been forced to stick closer to home, due to permanent wing injuries. The pair (a male and female) flew here—in a plane—from the Florida Aquarium, which has hosted them for more than a decade.
Reading up on Red Knots
Red knots (Calidris canutus) are one of the larger sandpipers, and can live to a ripe age. Scientists recently discovered a 21-year-old.
The birds, which grow to 10 inches, can occasionally be seen in local estuaries such as Elkhorn Slough. But these sightings are rare. These mileage champs breed in some of the coldest places in the world, and winter in some of the hottest. While they travel vast distances, red knots depend on certain stops along the way to fuel up, such as in Hudson Bay and Brazil. This can create challenges for the birds if food sources—particularly horseshoe crab eggs—are in short supply due to overharvesting.
“We’re really excited to have them,” says aviculturist Eric Miller. “Though they’re not technically endangered, red knots in some parts of the world are declining, and this is a great chance for people to see them.”
Did you know that the guitarfish has been playing it flat for 100 million years? We now have three making beautiful music together in our Aviary. It gets its name from a long, pointed snout and guitar-shaped body. It lies in ambush with its eyes sticking out of the sand, waiting for careless crabs to wander by. Lunch!
(Paul Vineyard photo)
Recognize it? Our Aviary has come a long way since this 1984 #ThrowbackThursday photo! This slice of sandy seashore is now home to rescued and rehabilitated shorebirds.
Find your favorite feathered friends with our live cam
Our snowy plover eggs hatched behind the scenes! In case you were wondering, the dots on their heads are our way of telling the birds apart until they are old enough to get banded.
(Thanks to Aimee Greenebaum for the photo.)
Listen to our latest podcast about the lonely life of a bird doctor, and learn why our birds run the other way when they see him coming!