K65 and K68 – A Continuing Pair

K65 and K68 4-3-2017 by Deb Howard K65 and K68 are known to have nested on Appledore each year since 2011

K65 and K68 are known to have nested on Appledore Island in Maine each year since 2011 – Photo by Deb Howard

Deb Howard spotted K65 and K68 at Hampton Beach April 3, 2017 and obtained a nice photo of the two Herring Gulls together.  This pair of Herring Gulls have nested along the trail from Bartels to the Bench on Appledore Island each year since at least May 2011.  Both Herring Gulls were banded as adults at a nest in May 2011.

Thanks to a number of reporters, some of the movement of the pair has been documented. Hampton Beach is a section of the mainland frequented by K68 and occasionally K65.

Pair fidelity and site fidelity are both demonstrated by this partnership.  Researchers on Appledore Island will be watching for the pair this summer (2017) to see if they return to their habitual nesting site.


Welcom Back Dave

L52 Welcomes Dave Adrien Back to Hampton Beach from Chasing Great Grey Owls in Montreal

L52 Welcomes Dave Adrien Back to Hampton Beach from Photographing Great Grey Owls in Montreal

Dave Adrien continues to supply sightings of Appledore Gulls as well as other banded gulls and banded shorebirds observed at sites along the New England coast.  His major contribution to research includes thousands of reports of hundreds of different banded birds.  Dave has a treasure trove of photographs of ‘known age’ Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls to accompany his myriad list of bands seen.

L52 was banded while a chick at a nest on Appledore Island July 13 2011.  DNA indicates L52 is a male.  More than 80 sighting reports are on record for L52 showing providing considerable information about his movements.  L52 favors the Hampton Beach area of New Hampshire.


Posing for a Portrait – E52

E52 at Hampton Beach NH 17 Aug 2016 - Photo by Rose Donovanthies

E52 at Hampton Beach NH 17 Aug 2016 – Photo by Rose Donovanthies

E52 was banded on Appledore Island in Maine as a chick at nest T26 on July 13, 2006.  Of the more than 50 reports  received since then on E52 most come from Appledore Island Maine where E52 eventually returned to nest and raise chicks or from the nearby mainland.

Rose Donovanthies captured this striking photo of E52 posing  at Hampton Beach NH.



The banding team is on Appledore Island this week (July 11 to 17) banding Great Black-backed and Herring Gull juveniles about to fly.



First Flight

As of Thursday no juveniles had yet been seen flying on Appldore .  So the team was enthralled to witness the first successful flight of a Herring Gull.  As the team watched from across the narrow cove, the youngster practiced a few lifts in place, furiously flapping to rise a few feet above the rock.  Then a pause, followed by a full honest flight for about 50 feet with a soft landing.  Returning at a run up-slope to the rock crest a short rest followed. And then, with a parent ‘cheering’, a true flight about sixty feet, a turn and a flight back to the rock.


Out and Return

This is the first observed juvenile flight of the year on the Island.  In the coming weeks the banded Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls will be dispersing to mainland New Hampshire and then throughout the east coast.  I hope you are able to see one of the banded gulls and report the band number back to us.  Each and every report is most welcome.

Banding gulls is demanding work on rugged Appledore Island in Maine.  Here’s the tough and effective team at work in the rocky terrain.  The Shoals Marine Lab buildings occupy a small portion of the Island and gulls nest along the pathways and buildings but many gulls choose to nest in the jumbled rocky shore areas.


Mary Everett Returning a Banded Gull to It’s Home Territory



Engineer Mike Rosen Successfully Trying the New Banding Pliers He Designed as Taylor Assists and Dr. Sarah Observes.

Bander-in-Charge: Dr. Sarah Courchesne (green); guest engineer: Mike Rosen, and experienced bander: Taylor Ouellette.


Below: The 2016 banding team;  Kyla, Jamie, Taylor, Eric, Dr. Sarah Courchesne, Jinette, Liam. Mary Everett, and Taylor Ouellette.  Mary and Taylor have been ‘On-Island’ involved in gull studies since May; both are experienced gull workers from the 2015 season.  Jamie and Eric have both assisted in prior banding operations on Appledore.



A Family Portrait

IMG_3696 HERG Family Group

Great Black-backed Gulls, one of the study species at Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island.  The present gull study began in 2004 and builds upon prior studies conducted on Appledore.

K74 Ventures to Cape Cod

K74 at Cape Cod

K74 at Cape Cod April 2016

Thanks to Barbara Ganter and husband Hans-Ulrich Rösen, on holiday from Germany, for the report and photo of K74.

K74 was banded on Appledore Island, Maine in May 2011.  At that time K74 was an adult gull with a nest.  Nesting status means that K74 was a minimum of four years of age at the time of banding and would now be about nine years of age or older.  Herring Gulls can live twenty years or more.

K74 has never been reported as far south as Cape Cod so this report is of special interest to the project.

Bill Clark