Shorebird Banding and Training Within the Upper Bay of Panama Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve

B. D. Watts, The Center for Conservation Biology
B J. Paxton, The Center for Conservation Biology
F M. Smith, The Center for Conservation Biology


Objectives Training – A critical need within the Upper Bay of Panama is to have locally trained teams that are capable of independent field investigations. In order to fully capitalize on mark-resight techniques, local teams must be trained on banding techniques to deploy field-readable flags and in resight techniques to survey for bands in an appropriate way. The primary objective of this project is to begin the process of training local biologists in the field techniques needed to operate a successful banding station and a mark-resight program. Establish Band-resight Program – The resighting of individually marked birds has become a cornerstone field technique for quantifying/estimating several key parameters including population size, movement phenology, site fidelity, and critical demographic rates. Once marked, researchers and the larger bird-watching community has the potential to resight these birds throughout their international range, adding to information on local to hemispheric scales. One of the primary objectives of this project is to deploy individually-coded, field-readable leg flags to help establish a resighting program for the three most abundant shorebird species using the Upper Bay of Panama including western sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, and semipalmated plover.