Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reporting My First Banded Ring-billed Gull...

I have been spending a lot of time looking at Gulls in an effort at getting better at ID'ing and aging them. This will be a long process and I have approached it methodically. In studying Gulls, I often wondered when I would get to document my first banded bird. Recently, I did see a banded Herring Gull when I unsuccessfully chased a Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus) in Duchess County NY, but I was unable to get the tag numbers or photograph the bird.

On Sunday February 12th, I lucked out seeing and photographing my first banded Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) in Brooklyn while out birding with Heydi Lopes. It was Heydi who spotted the banded Gull and we subsequently took some photos. I was very interested in documenting this bird because it would be my first banded Gull that I was going to report. Regular readers of this blog would remember that most of the banded birds I have reported on were all shorebirds. This would be my first report of a member of the Laridae family.

I submitted my report to two sites.  The first was to the banding station in Quebec Canada where there is an ongoing research program on the ecology of Ring-billed Gulls. It appears that Canada is interested in creating a management program for Ring billed Gulls. In response, I received a confirmation from Professor Jean - Frances Giroux (see below) that showed when and where the bird was banded.

The second site I reported the band was to the United States Geological Survey site. In a matter of days, I received confirmation that the data was received and matched to the subject banded in Quebec Canada. I even got a certificate for my efforts. Banding birds is an important method used in avian research to track the movement of individual birds. So, if you are out in the field take a close look at the birds you are looking at, you might just find a banded bird and get an opportunity to be a citizen scientist in helping out avian research.

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Gene said...

I think that is very exciting. good for you.

Julie G. said...

Wow, thank you for this informative post! I have seen banded birds before but never thought to report them. After reading this post, I will now be more aware of birds with bands. Congratulations, Andrew!

hilary said...

That's pretty cool Andrew!

Anonymous said...

Good catch, Andrew. Saw a banded and wing-tagged rb gull 2-28 in north Jersey pkg. lot. Found he was banded in MA on 9-12-13. Also, seen in Peth Amoby NJ on 2-24.

Saw another one today. Seems gulls like the Fairway Market lot.