Camera watches foraging Oystercatchers day and night

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Species: Oystercatcher

Project: Fine-scale foraging patterns of Oystercatchers in the Wadden Sea

Foraging conditions for shorebirds in intertidal systems vary greatly over time. Tidal, diurnal, lunar and seasonal cycles have very different characteristic timescales, but all influence food availability and spatio-temporal foraging patterns. To reveal the relative impact of these different environmental rhythms on the spatio-temporal use of intertidal flats by shorebirds, we use different continuous monitoring systems at the Balgzand intertidal area in the Dutch western Wadden Sea. At the individual level, gps-tagging is used to monitor bird’s whereabouts throughout the season. A stand-alone camera makes continuous observations of foragers near a local mussel and cockle bed. Two example movies recorded by this camera can be watched here.

Day-time camera observations of shorebirds shortly after a disturbance:

Night-time camera observations of foraging Oystercatchers on a Cockle Bed on Balgzand

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