“AFTER THE 2014 DISCOVERY, Ms. Sanders returned to the bank again and again over the next few years. She determined that when twilight and spring’s highest tides coincided, whimbrels began arriving on the island en masse. In May 2019, she assembled a team to count the birds. They began late one afternoon as the sun was setting. Long lines of whimbrels streamed onto Deveaux, the flocks extending as far up the river and south over the ocean as they could see. When darkness halted their work, they still heard the murmuring calls and rustling wings of incoming birds. On a night when a clear sky and a nearly full moon bathed the island in light, they counted 20,000 birds — half of the entire Atlantic population.
To understand why so many whimbrels gather on Deveaux and what makes the island vital to their migration, the scientists needed to know where the birds went during the day and how they used the island at night.’Deborah Cramer, New York Times
Fantastic interactive journalism featuring shorebird discovery in South Carolina
New York Times article here
Author Deborah Cramer
Resides and works in Gloucester, Ma.
Visiting Scholar, Environmental Solutions Initiative – MIT
Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage (W.W. Norton)
Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water Our World (Harper Collins/Smithsonian Books)
The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey (Yale University Press)
- National Academy of Sciences Best Book
- Society of Environmental Journalists Rachel Carson Book Award
- Volando a Orillas del Mar: El viaje épico de un ave playera que une continentes (Vázquez Mazzini, Buenos Aires)
- 绝境 (Commercial Press, Beijing)