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  • Researchers on Virginia's Eastern Shore prepare Fowler, one of this year's five tagged whimbrels, for his flight by adjusting the harness that holds the satellite transmitter on his back. All photos © Barry Truitt/TNC
  • Fowler and his satellite tag are ready to fly!
  • Biologists from the Center for Conservation Biology release Fowler and two radio tagged whimbrels.
  • Julia Kelso, CCB research field tech, holds another radio tagged whimbrel.
  • Fletcher Smith, CCB research biologist, measures the bill length of a whimbrel while Julia holds the bird.
  • Fletcher applies a USFWS metal band to a whimbrel's right leg.
  • The Nature Conservancy's Barry Truitt, chief conservation scientist at Virginia Coast Reserve, holds a radio tag on the back of a whimbrel while the glue sets. Barry has studied migratory birds for three decades and also specializes in oyster and seagrass restoration and Eastern Shore history.
  • Boxer poses for the camera. Whimbrels have long decurved (or down-turned) bills that nicely match the shape of fiddler crab burrows, their main source of food.
  • Master bird catcher Clive Minton (left) from Australia, along with companions Robyn Atkinson, Susan Taylor and Dick Veitch, assist CCB research field tech Dave Curtis (second from left) on the placement of the rocket net used to capture the whimbrels. Clive had come to Virginia for three days before heading to Delaware Bay to capture red knots.
  • Libby Mojica, a research biologist for CCB, holds the satellite tagged whimbrel Elki before release.
  • A large migrating flock of whimbrels departs the lower Delmarva Peninsula on an afternoon sea breeze for the long flight to their breeding grounds in the low Arctic.
  • The sun sets over Ramshorn Bay. You can follow along and watch the progress of our whimbrels at
Tracking Whimbrels on Virginia's Eastern Shore

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