Each week this summer, we will choose an interesting gull to display as Gull of the Week on Appledore. So far we have focused on a one-legged herring who hops around the island with ease (R47) and A07, a favorite for many of the staff and students because of his friendly disposition and his tendency to sit on the porch of the dining hall and wait for small bits of people’s meals.
This week’s gull is actually a pair of gulls with quite the back story:
3P2 is a Great Black-backed Gull banded in 2010 as an adult nesting in the exact same location on High Tide Pier as he is this year. For that year and the following, he was noted to be mating with 5P1, and the two were a rather successful pair.
At the same time on the opposite end of the island, 1R0 was nesting with an unbanded mate. However, their breeding season ended in a failed nest.
In 2012, 3P2 and 1R0 united and built a nest in 3P2’s original nesting site at High Tide Pier.
They have successfully fledged at least 2 chicks each year since and even spend the winters together at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.
The couple are also parents to the island’s first-hatched chicks, who hatched in late May and have already been placed into their federal bands.