For the second consecutive month, researchers in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, have spotted famed shorebird B95.
The iconic rufa Red Knot was seen most recently on January 26 by Canadian scientist Guy Morrison. B95 is named for the markings on his flag band. The bird was originally banded on February 20, 1995 and is now at least 20 years old, making him the oldest Red Knot on record.
“B95 is still in Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego,” Morrison said. “I had a good sighting at low tide among 150 Red Knots. What a thrill!”
While shorebird populations – including Red Knots – have been dropping precipitously B95 has proven to be a dogged survivor. Over his lifetime he has flown more than 350,000 miles on his migrations, equivalent to the distance from the earth to the moon and halfway back. As a result, B95 was given the nickname Moonbird and has become a mascot of sorts for shorebird conservation efforts.
“To help B95 and his friends, we have built an extensive international partnership to learn more about why shorebird populations are dropping, and to conserve their most important stop over sites,” said Stephen Brown, director of Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project.
In December 2013, Allan Baker, Patricia González and Luís Benegas saw B95 in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, just a few miles from where he was first banded.
Manomet Southern Cone Coordinator Diego Luna Quevedo said the city of Rio Grande in Argentina had named B95 a “Natural Ambassador” for the city “to symbolize the care and respect by its citizens for their environment.”
“B95 sightings continue to inspire conservation on a hemispheric scale,” Luna Quevedo said.
– Dave McGlinchey