First Appledore Gull found Breeding Off Island, Banding Wraps Up

Justin Stilwell here with breaking news. On Friday, the Field Ornithology class took a trip to Smuttynose Island, another island in the Isles of Shoals archipelago, to study about the gulls there. Occasionally people find banded birds loafing in the intertidal around the periphery of the colony, but have never found a banded bird breeding on another island. The class found 4H5 deep in the colony, a Great Black-backed Gull, likely the female of the pair based on morphological comparison to its mate. 4H5 was originally banded back in 2006 as a chick along Sandpiper Beach Road. In addition to 4H5, the class found N31 and 7P9 loafing on the rocks.

We finished off the week with a strong effort of 21 gulls on Sunday to reach a total of 106 gulls (100 new, 6 recaptures) for the week.

The Gull Team busy at work (Bill Clark, Kristin Cantele, Kelsey Piel, Julie Ellis) – Photo by Justin Stilwell

Interns, Kelsey and Kristin, worked very hard this week and particularly excelled at collecting blood samples, in true Pre-Vet fashion! Between getting pooped on and bitten, it isn’t easy spending a week in the gull colony and they’ve taken it all in stride. We greatly appreciate their efforts this week and the marvelous job they’ve done! We’d also like to thank Tracy Holmes, Sarah MacLean and Phil Thompson for their assistance throughout the week.

And, of course, Bill Clark without whose enthusiasm and persistence, the gull banding project may not have continued all these years.

Lastly, we’re sad to report that the Lesser Black-backed Gull, F05, has not been seen on island this year. His old territory has been taken by a pair of Herring Gulls.  Please keep your eyes peeled for F05 along the Atlantic coast!  We miss our friend, “Pierre.”

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