Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update on wing-tagged seagull

Water Supply Protection Gull Study
A variety of birds utilize reservoirs for breeding, migratory stops, roosting, and feeding. Some species – such as gulls, ducks and geese – can concentrate in large numbers for an extended period of time. Their numbers tend to increase during the winter and increase pollutants in reservoirs.  DCR work to limit the pollutants from these birds, continually meeting all drinking water standards. Unfortunately, there is little scientific knowledge on these wintering gulls.
Banding and Tagging
Initial trapping was conducted, utilizing three methods: a walk-in nest trap, Steele’s net, and rocket net. Following capture, all birds are fitted with an aluminium federal leg band. A uniquely numbered colored leg band is placed on the opposite leg of all birds. Finally, on most birds, a colored, uniquely numbered wing-tag is attached to each wing. These wing-tags make long-distance identification possible, particularly when it is difficult to see or read the leg bands. Wing-tags are color-coded based on the capture site’s proximity to either Reservoir.

How the Public Can Help
Wing-tags can be seen from a distance, and the numbers on the tags are easily read with binoculars or sometimes even with the naked eye. All sightings are very important to this study. If you see a wing-tagged bird, contact Ken MacKenzie at (508-792-7423 x313) or Dan Clark at (508-792-7423 x215) with wing-tag information. 

Want to know more about gull tagging?  Thanks to blogger  “Ann” for info on her blog.