Defenders On the Ground (On the Wing?)

This spring, I joined Defenders’ expert Caroline Kennedy and a group of scientists from around the world to band red knots on the New Jersey shores of Delaware Bay. Banding the shorebirds allows scientists to track birds from year to year simply to see if they’re surviving, as well as determine where the birds are spending their time. This information is critical to learning more about the imperiled shorebirds and how to better protect them and their habitat, before it’s too late. Watch the footage from my experience banding red knots and get up close and personal with the birds yourself!

You Can Help!

Just as important as those who tag shorebirds are the people who resight and report them. And that’s where you come in! All you need is a spotting scope, binoculars or camera with telephoto lens and a willingness to be on the lookout for tagged birds. (Remember, do not disturb the birds! Even more important than reading the bands is making sure the birds can fuel up for their long journey in peace.) By making a few key observations (color of the band, identification letters/numbers) and entering them into, you can play an important role in keeping these birds from disappearing from our shores forever.Instructions for resighting banded birds

Red knots will soon return to U.S. shores and you’ll want to be ready! Be on the lookout this August for these incredible migrants and do your part to help them recover.

Learn more:

Visit and see how you can help protect red knots and other imperiled shorebirds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced plans to move forward with a listing under the Endangered Species Act. Learn more about this move that could save red knots from extinction.