Gulls spotted in their over-wintering areas

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Species: Lesser Black-backed Gull

Project: Multi-scale movements of gulls from Texel

During our short days in the Dutch winter, one might wonder where the Lesser Black-blacked Gulls are now that they have left the colony in Texel.  Unfortunately, once the gulls leave the colony we do not receive any GPS data from them until they return next year.  The last data points were transmitted on 9 August 2011 from logger 311 (colour ring MAMJ). This male was actually tagged in the 2010 breeding season. Luckily, these birds are also wearing a unique colour ring. Dedicated ring-readers around Europe try and read as many rings as possible and report them to the organisation that ringed them (in this case Royal NIOZ, As a result, we regularly obtain information about the whereabouts of the gulls we’ve tagged, even when we lose track of them. Reporting of colour rings also provides invaluable information about age and mortality for birds with or without GPS tags. In the last few weeks several birds tracked with UvA-BiTS have been reported alive:

MAMJ (logger 311) was sighted on 20 October 2011 at the Vilarrasa landfill area in Spain (image on left, the logger antenna is visible on the back of the bird). From our tracking data we know that this individual also spent last winter in Spain. From the last two years of tracking we have over 38,000 GPS positions of this individual. Photographed by Jose Manuel Mendez.

FAPR (previously FADA, logger 533) was sighted on 1 September 2011 at a garbage dump in Blaringhem France.  On 28 November 2011 she was sighted in Chamteusse-sur-Baconne, again in a garbage treatment area (image on right).  Junk food is not new in her diet; she was tracked during the last season regularly following the ferry to Texel. Photographed by Alain Fossé.

MAKM (logger 51) was tagged during the first tracking season in 2008; unfortunately the tag stopped transmitting data on 5 July 2008.  Nevertheless during the last few years, thanks to its colour ring, it has been observed regularly within the colony at Texel, in France in the winter of 2008, in Spain in early spring 2010 and again in France on a landfill on 5 August 2011.

See the table below for more colour ring sightings.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all observers that report their colour ring sightings to us.

Ring GPS Year Month Day Site Site name Lat Lon
FABN 373 2011 8 22 2764 Vilarrasa landfill area ESP 37.500 -6.700
FAKV 355 2011 9 11 2179 Colmenar Viejo, Vertedero, Madrid, landfill site ESP 40.650 -3.767
FAKV 355 2011 9 18 2179 Colmenar Viejo, Vertedero, Madrid, landfill site ESP 40.650 -3.767
FAPR 533 2011 9 1 150 Blaringhem (vuilstort), Nord F 50.672 2.410
FAPR 533 2011 11 28 2263 Champteussé-sur-Baconne, Maine-et-Loire (FR48) F 47.653 -0.640
MACT 121 2011 8 23 2263 Champteussé-sur-Baconne, Maine-et-Loire (FR48) F 47.653 -0.640
MACT 121 2011 9 19 2065 La Séguinière CET, Maine-et-Loire F 47.100 -0.967
MAKM 51 2011 8 5 2331 Glaintain, Saint-Fraimbault de Prières, Mayenne F 48.340 -0.552
MAMJ 311 2011 10 20 2764 Vilarrasa landfill area ESP 37.500 -6.700

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