While doing my shorebird survey, I always keep an eye out for Horseshoe Crabs because of their relationship to the arrival of shorebirds who fatten themselves on the eggs of Horseshoe Crabs before continuing their journey to wherever it is they are going. A few days ago during a windy high tide, I observed a number of tagged Horseshoe Crabs at Big Egg Marsh in Queens NY, 9 of them to be exact and I was able to document 6 of them.
Well, it involves some drilling, but don't worry the taggers are well trained and although some blood or eggs may result from drilling, the Horseshoe Crabs are generally in good health post banding...er tagging. The tags are attached to an area called the Prosoma (first section of the body), which due to the fibrous material minimizes bleeding. The tag is attached by drilling a 5/32 inch hole through the left side of the Prosoma and then the pin with the tag is pushed in as far as it would go without going through to the other side. See below photos of the tagged Horseshoe Crabs and if you find one yourself, document the tag number and report in your findings via the tool free number on the tag or post your findings online here.
Tags: Willet, Horseshoe Crab, Big Egg Marsh, Jamaica Bay, Queens