Nest Monitoring Begins

This year’s adult gull banding week has come and gone, yielding 63 banded birds in total: six Herring Gulls and 57 Great Black-backed Gulls (plus two worn and weathered bands replaced on a Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull respectively). With adult banding week officially over, nest monitoring begins! First up is selecting the nests, which will be monitored closely over the next ten weeks. We aim to select 100-200 Great Black-backed nests from two separate areas of Appledore: nests in and around the buildings of Shoals Marine Lab and one colony site at Siren’s Cove.

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Siren’s Cove. The Great Black-backed colony is on the right hand side. 

As of today, we have selected 66 nests. Each nest is tagged with a unique nest identifier and all the eggs are numbered, measured, and weighed. At this point, most of the nests have a full three egg clutch, with some having just two. It takes about a week for all three eggs to be laid. We will be checking the nests frequently as hatching time fast approaches!

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A full clutch. 

To monitor the nests in the colony, the wonderful engineers here on Appledore are working to build a very handsome and sturdy blind. It is mostly done, and will be put in place within the next few days. Check back later in the week for more about the blind building and placement!  We will be updating regularly throughout the summer, so stay tuned to get your Appledore gull fix!

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