0R5 and 9R7 Spotted Across the Border

Justin Stilwell here.  When I went to the University of Florida earlier this month, I was happy to escape the northeast as the cold was just starting to set in. I wasn’t far from where F05, the famous Lesser Black-backed Gull of Appledore, likes to overwinter. But for some gulls like 0R5 and 9R7, Canada seems pretty nice this time of year. 0R5 was banded this past May as an adult, meaning it nested on Appledore this year (we catch adults on their nests). Kelly Roussy, a fellow gull enthusiast, spotted 0R5 at Minet’s Point in Ontario, Canada on October 16th. That’s a whopping 460 miles away!

0R5 and 9R7 cover lots of ground since leaving the island!

0R5 stretches his wings after a long flight - Photo by Kelly Roussy

The report for 9R7 comes from the USGS; this bird was spotted just southeast of Montreal at the Recre-o-Parc de Sainte-Catherine (Saint Catherine Recreational Park, rough translation if I remember my French correctly). 9R7 was banded as a chick this summer at a nest just above the High Tide Pier. Catching these chicks was difficult because they would flee to the water whenever we approached. This required some “aquatic gull herding” since the chicks could only swim (and not fly) at this point. With a team of able gull wranglers on shore, I swam out behind the gull chicks and drove them back onto dry land. The first two were easily captured by the team, but the third made a quick escape through the intertidal. I swam in and cut him off. Realizing he was cornered, he made one last attempt to break for the water, but to no avail as I forced him back to the intertidal and scooped him up.

Justin chasing the runaway gull chick - Photo by Sarah MacLean

Thanks for these resights!  From the Gulls of Appledore, we wish you all a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Thanks also to Bill Clark, long-time gull wrangler, who contributed to this post.

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