Shoaler spots Appledore gull at the Isles of Shoals on New Year’s Eve

Hello folks, Justin here again to bring you the latest happenings with the gulls of Appledore. Our latest sightings come from UNH Graduate student Lauren Kras, a fellow “Shoaler” (someone who attended a course at the Shoals Marine Laboratory) and Teaching Assistant for UNH’s Marine Immersion class.  On a New Years Eve cruise aboard the R/V Gulf Challenger, Lauren snapped this picture of 7P1 in flight at the Isles of Shoals.

7P1 following the Gulf Challenger at the Isles of Shoals - Photo by Lauren Kras

7P1 was banded as an adult in May 2010 near the SML Dock; in July 2011 two of its chicks were banded.  We banded a large number of adult Great Black-Backed Gulls (GBBG) in 2010 as part of a study looking at extra-pair paternity (ie. faithfulness between mates) in GBBGs using DNA from both parents and their offspring. We banded and took blood samples from over 50 GBBG pairs and their offspring for the study. The results are pending, so stay tuned!

Lauren also spotted E81 at Newcastle Commons, NH on New Years Day for one of our first resights of 2012! E81 was banded as a chick at Sandpiper Beach in 2006. Lauren spotted E81 previously in February 2009 and several times in the fall of 2010, all at Newcastle Commons.

E81 in winter (adult, non-breeding) plumage at Newcastle Commons, NH - Photo by Lauren Kras

The dispersal patterns of gulls can vary greatly with some gulls traveling as far away as the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, like the Appledore Lesser Black-backed Gull (F05) in Florida and 9R7 in Canada.  Other gulls appear to go no farther than the NH coast, like C17, E81, and 7P1. This variation raises many questions about what factors affect gull dispersal and winter behavior, which makes every resight so important. We thank Lauren for her resights and hope to hear from you in 2012!

Gull Wrangler MVP Bill Clark contributed to this post.

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