About Us

me and Bill

Dr. Ellis and long-time volunteer for the gull project, Bill Clark.

Dr. Julie Ellis began banding Herring Gulls and Great Black-Backed Gulls on Appledore Island, Maine as part of her PhD research. Since the inception of the gull banding project in 2004, several collaborators and numerous students have contributed to the banding efforts, and have carried out their own independent research projects involving the gulls.

Appledore gulls have been re-sighted by members of the public as far south as Florida and as far west as Texas. This research relies on people like you–birders, beachgoers, casual observers, to report banded birds!

Photo by Jon Woolf.

Photo by Jon Woolf.

 

58 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Pingback: Gull banding in Maine; wanna join? « SEANET Blog

  2. jon worthen

    I took a picture of two gulls fighting over a crab, when i looked a the picture after i noticed a band around its leg , it is C17 it was on Hampton beach 8-17-11 is this of any importance.

    Reply
  3. jon worthen

    I took a picture of a gull today at Hampton beach the gull had a green band with white letters L56 on it ,, is this of any importance thanks

    Reply
  4. Karen Sitts

    I have no idea if this is related to your project but on 5/30/2012 I saw what I believe was a juvenile herring gull with a green leg band, # K82.

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Karen! Thanks for this report – the bird was banded last summer as a chick on Appledore Island, so this is its first resight off the island! Thanks very much for this information. Please feel free to send more resights our way. Take care! julie

      Reply
  5. Tiffany Kersten

    I photographed a young herring gull today at Cape May Point State Park in New Jersey today (7/2/2012) with a green K58 band as well as a USGS band that I could not read. I’m curious about where this bird came from.

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hey Tiffany! This bird was banded as a chick on Appledore in July, 2011. This is the first time it has been resighted – so interesting to know it is in Cape May! Thanks very much for your report. Feel free to send more my way. Best wishes, julie

      Reply
  6. Karen Sitts

    Exciting! It is very interesting to see where these birds are traveling. Thanks for your work, Julie.

    Reply
  7. Pam Prichard

    Hi! I protect beach nesting birds in NJ and today at one of my sites, I saw a Black Back Gull with a black band, white letters – 2C2. He had a back left foot, it was totally curled under, but he walked on it kind of like it was a stump. I would love to know the history of this bird. He was seen this afternoon in Sea Bright, NJ, which is near Sandy Hook.
    Thanks! Pam

    Reply
  8. Ann Cleaves

    Hi Good afternoon, I have been been feeding a seagull for several years and he is tagged with a black tag with yellow writing, similar to HO2, although I am still trying to get a good look to confirm. I write asking if this could be one of your birds. I live in Bristol, England, Great Britain.

    Reply
  9. Tiffany Kersten

    Hi,

    I think I sighted another of your juv herring gulls today, 9/14/12, on Little Beach Island, E.B. Forsythe NWR, New Jersey. R01 dark green band on left leg with silver BBL band, partial sequence of 767202 on the right leg. He/she was enjoying a blue crab. I have photos if you’d like them.

    -Tiffany

    Reply
    1. Gina Park

      Tiffany, I saw the same gull today on North Brigantine Beach. He/She was eating a crab it just caught in the ocean. I have a picture of it.

      Reply
      1. jellis04 Post author

        Hi Gina!

        Not sure which gull you are referring to – would you please send the photo? Thanks! Julie

  10. Alyssa Della Fave

    Hello,
    On December 5th, 2012, I found a Great Black Backed Gull with a black band 7E3 on the left leg and a silver band on the right. I photographed the bird on the beach in Pt. Pleasant, NJ on the south side of the Manasquan Inlet.

    Reply
  11. Diane

    Not sure if it’s one of yours. On 12/16/12 we took a photo of a Gull…sorry don’t know what kind, on Fort Myers Beach in Florida. It had two bands. One was green with X25 and the other was a silver metal one, the word Call and a couple numbers could only be identified. I’d love to send you a picture if you let me know how. Is it one of yours? If so, can you tell me about it? Thanks much!

    Reply
  12. FisherkIng

    Hi, I’m a commercial fisherman out of New Bedford, MA. On January 28th I spotted a seagull tagged 4V9 at George’s Banks coordinates 40 53.08N, 66 52.66W

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Thanks for your resight! 4V9 is a Great Black-backed gull that was banded as a chick on Appledore, Maine on July 17, 2012. He or she was seen again 5 days later on Appledore but hasn’t been seen since. Great to know 4V9 is still alive and well!

      Reply
  13. FisherkIng

    Wow, pretty cool. Ive seen some other banded seagulls before but never knew where to report them. I see any others, I’ll let you know and try to get pictures.

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Thanks to donors, students are island bound! « SEANET Blog

  15. Boom Restaurants

    Greetings, I am here on Fort Myers Beach in Florida and spotted a gull with a bright red band on his leg on the beach (with other, non-banded gulls). I wonder if this if an Appledore Island gull…and if so, what a coincidence as my family is very connected with Star Island. From, Jean Fuller Gest

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Jean! this is not an Appledore gull, but I’ll ask around to see if I can find the source. But, so glad you wrote us! I’ve spent many years at the Shoals and it’s really a home-away-from-home for me. Always good to hear from someone with connections out there. Keep your eyes peeled for other banded gulls – you might find one of ours! Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  16. SarahP

    6/17/13 15:29 Hampton Beach State Park, Herring Gull green band N87 feeding on beach in a group of immature gulls and adults.

    Reply
  17. Caralee Gately

    Hi! We were on the beach at dcr; department of conservation & reservation; in Salisbury MA on July 17 and my son spotted R92 green band on a seagull and was wondering where it came from. I found your site on the Internet & we wanted to tell that we saw it if it will help with your research!

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hello Caralee! this is one of our gulls – thanks so much for the report! It was banded as a chick in July 2012 and this is the first time it’s been seen off the island. So, this is a great data point for us. If you have a photograph, would you please send it along? Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  18. Pam

    I saw a juvenile black backed gull today in Monmouth Beach, NJ. It had a black band with white letters – 9X4. Would love to know if this is one of your banded birds.

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hello! Thanks for the resight – this does sound like one of our birds. 9X4 was banded as a chick in July 2012 and this is the first time it has been observed off the island! And, so interesting that it was in NJ! Thanks very much for reporting this and please feel free to send any additional resights out way. Did you happen to take a photograph? Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  19. Jill Constantine

    I photographed a black backed gull on Wildwood Beach in New Jersey on August 5, 2013, Tag 3K1. I would love to know when he was tagged.

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Jill! Thanks for the resight! 3K1 was banded as an adult in 2010 and has been seen every summer since then on Appledore. A real “regular.” We know this bird is at least 8 yrs old, but could be older. We have 17 previous resights of banded gulls in coastal NJ, mostly Great Black-backed Gulls (rather than Herring Gulls) for some reason. Would you please send your photo of the bird to me at julie.ellis@tufts.edu? Thanks!!

      Reply
  20. Sharon Schneider

    I have seen L51 (once) and C47 (several times) at Hampton Beach (south bath house area) in August. C47 is not shy, at all. He/she comes right up to your chair. Will try to get some pictures.

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Sharon!

      Are you the same Sharon who reported 7A3? L51 was banded as a chick in 2011 then seen at Hampton Beach in April 2012 and Feb 2013, then several times on Appledore during the summer of 2013. This is a great report as we now know that the bird is still alive and is a regular at Hampton! C47 was banded as a chick in 2005 and was later seen at Jenness Beach, NH in 2008, 2009, 2010. This bird has also been a regular at the island since it was banded, having been observed during the summer in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013. Because the bird was banded as a chick, we know that it is now 8 yrs old. This is important information as it enables us to calculate survival rates for these birds. Thanks very much for these reports!

      Reply
      1. Sharon Schneider

        Hi Julie

        No I am not the Sharon that reported 7A3. 8/11 is the date from the posting on 8/15, C17-noticed a bit of a limp for this bird

        On the dates listed below, I saw the following birds.

        8/19 R47, C47 & C17

        8/20 C17 & L51

        8/21 black tag 4P4

        8/25 M92, R47, L51, L52, C47 & C17-limp was a bit better.

        I noticed C47 has less feathers around the eyes, is that do to age, illness or genetics?

        Thank you for the information on the gulls.

        I have a couple more days at the beach coming up and will let you know which gulls show up.

        Sharon

      2. jellis04 Post author

        Hi Sharon! Thanks very much for all the resights!
        R47 was banded as a chick in 2012 and has been seen at Hampton several times during the year since.
        C17 was banded as a chick in 2005 so it’s 8 yrs old and it’s been resighted on Appledore and coastal NH 54 times since!
        4P4 was banded as an adult in 2010 and has returned to Appledore every year since. Yours is the first time this bird has been seen off the island.
        M92 was banded as a chick in 2012 and has been seen at Hampton a few times since then.
        L52 was banded as a chick in 2011 and was seen on Appledore this summer and at Hampton several times in the past year.

        Thanks for the resights! If you have the opportunity, please take digital photos and send them along – we like to have photos of the birds for our archives and for a project we’re working on to get pics of known-age birds for the purpose of helping people learn to ID gulls of various ages. Thanks! Julie

  21. JBourget

    Hello all! I recently had a sighting of a 2nd Winter GBBG, marked with a dark green marker labelled ‘5T9’. I reported it to the USGS Banded Bird Reporting website and, on the Certificate of Appreciation that was received, it gave me all of the info for the Gull. 5T9 was banded on July 12th, 2011 by Dr. Morris. I saw it on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge/Sandy Point State Reservation on the 19th of August. Hopefully I will be able to find a few more of your friends in the future!

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hello Joseph!
      Thanks for the resight – this bird was banded, as you say, in 2011 and was seen one other time at Sandy Point State Park in Aug 2012. This is great information as we now know that this bird has survived its first year, we know one off-island location where it “hangs out,” and we can now wait and see if this bird returns to nest on Appledore. Thanks very much! Let us know if you see any more of our birds. Also, we love to receive photos of the birds. Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  22. Chris Sheridan

    Great Black-backed Gull 2E2 at Lot 7 at Parker River National Wildlife on October 17, 2013–he was cracking clams, and trying to chase off Herring Gulls that were trying (with some success) to steal the results of his hard work!

    Great Black-backed Gull 2E2

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Chris!

      2E2 is one of our “old timers” – he was banded as an adult in May 2006 and has been observed at or near Plum Island every winter since! He really likes that area for an overwintering site. I’ve added your report to our database – it’s great to know he’s alive and at his favorite wintering site. Please feel free to send additional reports of banded birds if you come across more! The data really help in our studies. Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Kyle!

      thanks for this report – R03 was banded on Appledore as a chick in July 2012. this is the first time the bird has been observed off the island! very cool. good to know it’s still alive. Do you have any close-up photos of the bird? Thanks again and happy holidays! Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  23. Laura

    HI! I took a picture of a seagull (I don’t know what type) with band 3AF. I saw this bird on December 12, 2013 at Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Is this one of yours?

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Laura! Do you recall the color of the band and the lettering? This might be one of mine – however, my bands are either a letter-number-number combination or a number-letter-number. In your case, the band was a number-letter-letter combination, which may be a bird from someone else’s project. So, if you can tell me the color of the band you saw, I might be able to track this down. Thanks for the report!! Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
      1. Laura

        Julie, HI! According to the USGS the gull I saw was a Ring-Billed Gull banded by Jean Giroux – University of Quebec-Montreal.
        Happy New Year! Laura

    2. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Laura!

      can you tell me what color the band and letters were? My bands have either a letter-number-letter combination or a letter-number-number combination. The band you describe is a number-letter-letter combo, which means it may belong to someone else’s project. If you can tell me the color combination I might be able to determine who banded this bird. Thanks!! Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Yianni! yes, 2E2 is a “regular” at that site during the winter – he returns there EVERY winter! He was originally banded as an adult in 2006, so is at least 13 years old (we guess that Great Black-backed Gulls are around 5 yrs when they start breeding). Thanks very much for the report! Best wishes, Julie

      Reply
  24. Don Fletcher

    Hi on the morn. of 1/21/14 I was feeding a good looking young gull at Pierce Island in Portsmith N.H it had a green ban with L49 on it. is it one from the Shoals ?

    Reply
    1. jellis04 Post author

      Hi Don!

      Yes, this is one of our birds. L49 was banded as a chick at its nest in July 2011. It was seen at New Castle Municipal Beach in April 2013, and then seen again by you. Looks like it’s settling in the area. Thanks so much for your resight! If you happened to take any photos, you can send them to my email at julie.ellis@tufts.edu

      Reply
  25. chris sheridan

    Herring Gull

    Herring Gull X78 at Seabrook Harbor 2/4/2014. Incidentally noticed this banded bird when reviewing photos I’d shot of a flock, so photo’s not that great!

    Reply
  26. Suzanne Sullivan

    HI,
    On 2-1614 I photographed Y95 in Lowell Mass on the Merrimack River. Is this your bird? This gull has strange, or should I say not typical Herring Gull plumage, so I am inclined to think it might not be an Appledore bird. If you like I can send you a photo.
    Suzanne Sullivan

    Reply
  27. Eric Labato

    I saw Great Black-backed Gull 5T9 at Sandy Point Reservation on Plum Island on May 26, 2014. I see from the comments above it has been seen there before. There was another Gull associating closely with it. They appeared to be engaged in courtship behavior walking down the beach side by side. Photo here:

    Banded Great Black-backed Gull

    Reply
    1. scourc01

      Thanks for the sighting and for the great pic! That bird was banded as a chick in 2011, and yes, seems to enjoy the beach there at Sandy Point!

      Reply
  28. Phil

    Hi again,

    So I was browsing the new gull videos on Youtube today – and it seems that someone has found one of your babies in Texas…

    Reply
  29. Staceylyc

    Just saw a seagull with a green R47 band on Hampton Beach. Never noticed that seagulls were tagged before :)

    Reply

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