Re: apparent contravention of the flagging protocol for small waders

To: <>, <>
Subject: Re: apparent contravention of the flagging protocol for small waders
From: "Phil Straw" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 22:03:06 +1000
Hi Bruce,
As you now know from Clive Minton the Stints you saw were banded in July. The reason the birds have two flags is because since we have international colour-flagging protocols a combination of two colours must be used. Earlier, Australian birds only had one flag because other countries had not come on board. The stints have been observed on numerous occasions since flagging with no indication of irritation by the birds. I suggest that you may have observed normal preening behaviour but with special attention being paid to there new flags.
As far as the "novice" catching the birds for flagging (your later email). I would like to point out that the catching operation was carried out by Fred van Gessel, one of Australia's most experienced bird banders with many years of experience with catching waders. Fred has also been involved in flagging waders over the past ten years.
It might interest you to know that studies of the Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper have been boosted since flagging of these small birds commenced in Siberia by our Russian colleagues. We are now finding out where these birds stop on migration and spend their overwintering period. We now have to work hard with our international colleagues in order to protect these areas. Some of their findings will be highlighted at the Australasian Shorebird Conference being held in Canberra on 14/15 December (immediately after the Australasian Ornithological Conference). We will also have specialists talking about shorebird conservation from South Korea (including the recently threatened tidal flats at Saemanguem which are important for the long term survival of a large proportion of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper as well as many of the migratory waders visiting Australia and most of our Great Knot). Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Philippines etc. I urge anyone interested in the welfare of our migratory shorebirds (as well as non-migratory) attend this conference and take part in the workshops to look at future research and conservation throughout the migration range of "our" birds.
The AWSG web was down for a short while but was operation fine last time I looked. Information about the conference is available on this website:
Phil Straw
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