A migratory shorebird that has flown more than 400,000 miles has reappeared once again. The bird, dubbed “B95” after the number on his leg band or “Moonbird” for the distance he has flown over his lifespan, is a rufus red knot (Calidris canutus rufus) that scientists have been tracking for 19 years.
Each May his arrival is anxiously awaited by researchers who want to see whether he survived his annual 16,000-kilometer migration (9,940 mile) each way from the Canadian Arctic to South America’s Tierra del Fuego. This year he arrived on May 16 at Mispillion Harbor in Delaware.
Rufus red knots once numbered around 100,000 on Delaware Bay but their population has declined to a fraction of that due to over-harvesting of horseshoe crabs.