Banded gull sightingsAugust 4th, 2012 by Kristie Nelson
Date of sighting: Last week
While birding around the lake shore over the last week or 2, I’ve come across several color-banded California Gulls that we (PRBO) have banded as chicks here at Mono Lake. Recently, that has included healthy, fledged juveniles from this year, like Red 405 (photo attached) I found at Sammon Springs a few days ago. I also saw Red 435 and 2 with green color bands (all this years’ crop) at County Park in late July. So fun and exciting to see the chicks we banded less than a month ago as big healthy, independent birds! It makes me really happy – and where will they be seen next, as they leave the Mono Basin with these red bands? The red coded bands allow observers to identify individual gulls by the unique alpha-numeric code they have on the band, readable with binocs or a scope.
Chirs McCreedy saw red 183 at Sammon Springs in early July – one of only about 75 we banded with red bands last year, another 1 year old Mono Lake gull was seen at Davis recently (a different one of only 75, less when you factor in annual mortality), and I saw a 2 year old (Red 063, banded in 2010) at Sammon Springs in late July. So including one of the 2009 color banded gulls we saw on the Mono Lake colony in May during nest count, observers have found 7color-banded gulls at Mono Lake from all 4 years we have color banded, just this summer! It’s a small world after all. Please keep an eye out for these guys – and report them to me or the Bird Banding Lab if you see any!
This post was submitted by Kristie Nelson.