News of Hope
August 21, 2015
Hope the whimbrel was observed and photographed on 19 August, 2015 by Lisa Yntema on her winter territory at Great Pond, St. Croix. Hope has been recorded on this same small pond during the fall and winter months since she was captured and outfitted with a satellite transmitter in Virginia during the spring of 2009. She was last photographed there on 14 February, 2014 by Lisa before migrating to her breeding grounds along the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
Originally captured on 19 May, 2009 while staging on Boxtree Creek on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Hope was tracked by satellite for over 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) between 2009 and 2012, including four back and forth migrations between breeding and winter grounds. She lost her transmitter antenna in the early fall of 2012 and was recaptured to remove the unit on 20 November of that year. She retains her coded leg flag for identification and Lisa has continued to observe her in the mangrove-lined pond since that time. She now would have flown an estimated 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) since the spring of 2009.
Hope’s incredible attachment to her tiny territory on Great Pond, her spring staging area on Boxtree Creek, and her breeding territory on the Mackenzie River has demonstrated to followers throughout the world the link between local actions and shorebird conservation. The subject of an award-winning children’s book, Hope’s story continues to inspire.