Report a Banded Gull

Thank you for participating in our long-term study of gulls on Appledore Island, Maine!

You can email Bill Clark or Mary Everett with sighting information, or you can report it directly here via this form.

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.fig 1The 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).

Phil Brown photo of 4K9

Great Black-backed Gull with black band. Photo by Phil Brown.

Photo by Jon Woolf.

Herring Gull with green band. Photo by Jon Woolf.

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.

Thank-you for your help!!


7 thoughts on “Report a Banded Gull

  1. I saw Z65 (green band) on a gull along the shore of Southampton’s Cooper’s Beach on the Atlantic Ocean on Long Island, NY, at 12:30 p.m. on September 6, 2015. This gull must have expensive taste! Sorry, didn’t have my camera or cellphone with me. Southampton’s location is 40.884N -72.39W.

  2. Sighted great black back gull 5T9 on 9/15/15 at Sand Point State Park, Plum Island, MA eating M&Ms from someone’s beach bag with other gulls. I collected and disposed of the candies.

  3. Saw a banded Herring Gull today – green band O77 – on the beach at the South end of Manasquan NJ. The full was medium sized and in good shape!

    Was walking the beach in my swimsuit, so no photo.

    Boot Seem

      X25 11/30/12 Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers Beach, FL Melissa B, Al M
      X25 12/16/12 Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, FL Diane P
      X25 12/22/12 Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area, Coconut, FL Hemant K
      X25 01/17/13 Bunche Beach, Cape Coral, FL Stuart M
      X25 01/24/13 Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, FL Pat G
      X25 04/12/13 Sanibel, FL Ferry O
      X25 01/07/15 Keyport, NJ Terry T
      X25 1/24/2016 Keyport waterfront, NJ John O
      X25 04/14/15 Keyport Marina, Keyport, NJ Breyanna H

      X25 is nearing maturity and is heading northward toward the nesting Island.
      As of today we have no record of X25 on Appledore Island since 2012 but this year or next X25 could be seen on Appledore with a nest.
      As always we depend upon reports from the public to track the movements of the ‘Gulls of Appledore’
      Bill Clark

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