Marcela Castellino works as a conservation specialist for Manomet’s Flyways team, visiting wetlands, salt lagoons, and salt flats around Mar Chiquita in Argentina, one of South America’s biggest salty wetlands. She surveys shorebirds to track their populations and strengthen their conservation. One species she studies, Wilson’s Phalarope, travels from their breeding grounds in North America to winter in huge numbers at Mar Chiquita. As they feed, they swim in circles, swirling the water and stirring up things to eat.
Listen to this episode in Spanish here!
The Wilson’s Phalarope Dance
Written by Camilo Garzón
This is BirdNote.
[Mar Chiquita soundscape, Xeno Canto 538924]
In Mar Chiquita, Argentina, one of South America’s biggest salty wetlands, a biologist spends her days studying shorebirds.
Marcela Castellino: Mi nombre es Marcela Castellino y siempre me interesaron las aves.
Marcela works as a conservation specialist for Manomet’s Flyways team, visiting wetlands, salt lagoons, and salt flats. She surveys shorebirds to track their populations and strengthen their conservation. Since she was a child, she’s been keen on learning more about a species that she and her sister Marina often saw in Mar Chiquita. A species that she describes as superheroes.
[Wilson’s Phalarope calls, ML 3208]
Marcela Castellino: Pueden atravesar un montón de obstáculos y estas distancias increíbles y tener estos cambios fisiológicos que son impresionantes, a mi no me dejan de maravillar.
This is Wilson's Phalarope. They’re impressive and can traverse vast distances and obstacles, she is saying here.
Marcela Castellino: Ni hablar, las bandadas. Cuando uno tiene el privilegio de ver estas bandadas que vuelan de una manera tan sincronizada.
They fly in synchronized movements, almost like a dance, Marcela is saying. After summers have ended in North America, they come back to Mar Chiquita to continue this dance. As they feed, they swim in circles, swirling the water and stirring up things to eat.
[Wilson’s Phalarope calls, ML 105882]
Marcela Castellino: Sus movimientos son como muy eléctricos, por así decirlo. Tienen como mucha energía.
Marcela and her team are working to conserve the bird, and their electric, elliptical, and circular dance.
This show is part of a series on Manomet's shorebird conservation research, and it's also available en español — visit our website, BirdNote dot org, to learn more. I'm Camilo Garzón.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Script Editor: Camila Kerwin from the Rough Cut Collective
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Wilson’s Phalarope ML 3208 recorded by R. Little and W.Y. Brockelman, Wilson’s Phalarope ML105882 recorded by R. Faucett, and soundscape Xeno Canto 538924 recorded by D. Hinckley.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote September 2022
Narrator: Camilo Garzón
ID# manomet-01-2022-09-06 manomet-01