Thank you for participating in our long-term study of gulls on Appledore Island, Maine!
About our Bands
We started banding in 2004 to learn more about the behavior and ecology of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls in the southern Gulf of Maine. Since 2004, we have banded thousands of birds. Sightings of banded birds contribute important information about survival, longevity, habitat use, movement, and population trends of these two common, but under-appreciated species.
There are many gull banding projects in the US, Canada, and Europe. Our particular project uses plastic leg bands with a combination of alphabetical and numerical characters on a colored background. We use these “field readable,” plastic bands in addition to metal bands given to us by the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory. Our bands are shown below.The code on the metal band is quite small and very difficult to read in the field without specialized optics. Therefore, we use these custom-designed colored band with an alpha-numeric code that are relatively easy to read in the field for anyone with binoculars. We use black bands with white characters for Great Black-backed Gulls and green bands with white characters for Herring Gulls (see photos below).
When you see a marked gull, please take a digital photo of it if you can, and record the following information:
- The date (exact)
- Band color and alpha-numeric code (e.g., “green,” “X23”)
- Location: Name of city, state, and brief description and name of specific location where gull was observed (e.g. rock jetty, on deck of boat, Daytona Shores Beach, etc)
- Latitude and Longitude*
- Notes – interesting behaviors of gull, any injuries, other observations
*When reporting a location, the more information the better. If possible, please include GPS coordinates; coordinates can be obtained from a GPS unit (like a smartphone) or by clicking a location on the interactive map at the “Report a Gull” tab. A written description of the location is also helpful.