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Photos: Scientists ‘winter’ in Bahamas to study endangered migratory bird

PBS NewsHour special correspondent Cat Wise and cameraman Jason Lelchuk traveled to the Bahamas recently with a group of scientists to study an endangered shorebird bird called the piping plover. The birds have been on the endangered species list in the United States since the late 1980s, but like many species of migrating birds, scientists didn’t know much about their wintering grounds.

A team of scientists on a National Audubon Society-led research trip to the Joulter Cays take measurements of a captured piping plover. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

A team of scientists on a National Audubon Society-led research trip to the Joulter Cays take measurements of a captured piping plover. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

Five years ago, a small team of National Audubon Society scientists discovered piping plovers in the Bahamas on the Joulter Cays — beautiful, uninhabited spits of land in an area very few tourists visit. Now, those same scientists and others have returned to the Joulters to capture and band piping plovers in an effort to learn more about their migration patterns, and hopefully protect the area from big development.

Watch the entire report from the Bahamas on tonight’s PBS NewsHour.

A flock of shorebirds near the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. The Bahamas are home to hundreds of species of native and migratory birds. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

A flock of shorebirds near the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. The Bahamas are home to hundreds of species of native and migratory birds. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

Bahamas National Trust Warden Steve Smith releases a piping plover after it has been banded by a team of scientists. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

Bahamas National Trust Warden Steve Smith releases a piping plover after it has been banded by a team of scientists. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

A flock of endangered piping plovers on the Joulter Cays in the Bahamas. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

A flock of endangered piping plovers on the Joulter Cays in the Bahamas. Photo by Walker Golder/National Audubon Society

The NewsHour film crew follows National Audubon Society scientist Walker Golder through tide pools to find an ideal spot for filming shorebirds on the Joulter Cays. Photo by Cat Wise

The NewsHour film crew follows National Audubon Society scientist Walker Golder through tide pools to find an ideal spot for filming shorebirds on the Joulter Cays. Photo by Cat Wise

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