Friday, December 14, 2007

Ring-bills with tags

Remember the post earlier that I told you about the Ring-billed gulls we found that had orange tags on their wings?? Well, John Castrale, one of our State Biologists, did a little investigating and below is his response to these reports. I thought some of you might be interested in the results of his investigation. I noticed a couple of recent postings of wing-tagged ring-billed gulls.I was able to track down the source of these birds (see below). If youencounter marked ring-billed gulls, note the information requested belowand report them to and the Bird BandingLab: Castrale<>

"We did band the patagial tagged ring-billed gulls. We marked theseadult gulls at Dime Pier in Chicago, Illinois sometime between the 1stand 9th of May 2007. The gull was part of a study in which we marked atotal of 724 gulls in the Chicago area with either orange (150 tags),green (202 tags), blue (222 tags) or yellow (150) wing tags to determinegull movements in response to an egg oiling project. We wanted to learnif gull behavior would be altered following egg oiling and if fewergulls would use Lake Michigan beaches. The project was done at therequest of the City of Chicago because avian fecal deposits arecontributing to increased E. coli levels in near-shore waters, causingswimming bans at Chicago's Lake Michigan beaches.

Should you or othersspot any other tagged birds we would appreciate acquiring the followinginformation:

Date and Time patagial tagged ring-billed gull was observed-Color of patagial tag on ring-billed gull-Whether it is an adult (after-hatch-year) or (hatch-year) gull, if theobserver can detect the age-Location where patagial tagged ring-billed gull was observed (streetaddress and/or as specific as possible)-Number of gulls observed with patagial tags at this location (andcolors of tags if multiple tagged birds were observed)-Observer name and contact telephone number Wildlife Biologist Tom Seamans with USDA-Wildlife Services NationalWildlife Research Center has agreed to continue collecting theobservational data for us. It would be easiest for us if reports ofobservations could be emailed to Mr. Seamans at: Thanks for your assistance. Scott BeckermanState Director, CWBUSDA-Wildlife Services2869 Via Verde DriveSpringfield, IL 62703-4325(217) 241-6700>>
We found one with blue tags. It will be interesting to see what they decide by this survey. It takes us 5 hours to drive to near where these birds were tagged. Isn't it amazing how far they fly. I wonder how long it takes them to get here and what route they take. Have a great weekend eveyrone...


  1. Very interesting, Lisa. We had an unusual Ring-billed Gull event on our own lake in February. Gazillions descended upon our lake, which is part of the Tennessee River system, for about 4 days. It was literally like watching snow falling and dancing outside our window. I got photos of them, but didn't notice at the time any tags. I'll go zoom in and see if any are evident. Fascinating - thank you for sharing this! Debi

  2. Good research, Lisa! I don't see gulls often but I'll remember to look for a tag.

  3. Deb I hope you find one. Wouldn't it be amazing if one from the Chicago area made it all the way over by you??

    Mary I hope you see one.

  4. Wow, how interesting Lisa! It is amazing how far they'll fly.

  5. That is amazing research. It is phenomenal to think of these gulls having travelled such a distance with their bands. It was good of you to follow up on this! Thank you.

  6. How wonderful you were able to connect those birds with the biologist who first banded these guys! BRAVO

  7. It is great that you are enthused about spotting these tagged gulls, but you should know that the USDA may be using the data submitted to it to kill these very same gulls next year:


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