Migratory Shorebirds: Where do they come from and what do they want?

David Newstead, Speaker at Houston Audubon May Meeting

Over the last decade, the Coastal Bird Program of Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (CBBEP) has been involved in a number of projects to answer questions about the connectivity between the Texas coast and the breeding grounds of many species of shorebirds, as well as how specifically the birds are using this area. This has major implications for how we manage coastal habitats. CBBEP has collaborated with a range of international researchers to study these questions, using everything from traditional banding methods, VHF telemetry, and satellite technology to track major migratory movements.

  • Where do all the Piping Plovers go in the middle of the winter?
  • Where do our Long-billed Curlews breed, and why are some populations declining?
  • How fast does a Red Knot fly between here and Saskatchewan?
  • How does the price of beef in Uruguay, or your decisions about lawn care, affect Buff-breasted Sandpipers?

David Newstead is the Director of the Coastal Bird Program at CBBEP, which focuses on conservation and management of coastal bird populations including the waterbirds that breed here and the shorebirds that depend on the area in migration.  While state-of-the-art technologies are providing amazing new insight, keen observation and participation by birders and other volunteers remain a critically important component of bird study and conservation.

David has worked on many tracking projects with a wide range of migratory shorebirds, employing a variety of tracking methods and technologies.  He is currently working on a waterbird conservation study funded in part by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.

David Newstead

David’s Master of Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi focused on marine science and the early life history stages of fishes, and he is currently working on his PhD through Texas A&M University-Kingsville on a project to determine subspecific status and migratory connectivity with Red Knots. He has been with CBBEP for fifteen years.