2011

December 13 - The last gull tracked with a Argos-GPS device has left Quebec during the weekend after spending the fall on the Laurentides lakes. The birds are currently dispersed in several states including New York (4), Vermont (1), Pennsylvania (3), Maryland (1) Virginia (3), North Carolina (2) and Georgia (1). Two other birds that had initiated their migration were unfortunately hit by cars in Connecticut and on Long Island, NY on November 25th.

December 5 - 200 sightings by Raymond Belhumeur. One of our regular observer, Raymond Belhumeur from Longueuil, QC, has just submitted his 123rd and 124th sighting of marked gulls for this year, which gives him a total of 201 since the beginning of the project. Raymond regularly patrols the south shore of the St. Lawrence River stopping at Bassin de Chambly, St-Basile and Chambly sewage lagoons, Ste-Catherine Récréo-Parc and Parc de la Cité at St-Hubert. Sightings reported by volunteers like Raymond Belhumeur help us to establish the dispersal patterns of Ring-billed Gulls. THANKS RAYMOND!

November 4-5-6 - Tree students presented their project at the 36th annual meeting of la Société québécoise pour l’étude biologique du comportement (SQEBC) at Université de Sherbooke.

October 25 - A workshop was held with several partners to discuss the problem associated with Ring-billed Gulls nesting of roofs and on islands located near human dwellings. A summary of the discussion will be available shortly.

October 7 - Longevity record: On May 20th, our field crew live caught a Ring-billed Gull on the Deslauriers colony near Varennes that was 27-year old! The bird had been initially banded as juvenile (25-35 days) in a colony on the Four Brothers Islands located in Lake Champlain, NY on June 9, 1984. This overrides the previous record of 25 years and 5 months reported by the Bird Banding Laboratory.

September 6 - A member of our lab, Ericka Thieriot, has presented her results on gull scaring at landfills at the 2011 Bird Strike North America Confertence in Niagara Falls, ON. Her Power Point presentation is avalaibale on line.

July 10 – Our group has joined the staff and volunteers of Le Nichoir to band and release 210 juvenile gulls that had been taken to the rehabilitation center few weeks ago when chicks  were found in a parking lot in the industrial zone of Ville St-Laurent. The chicks had fallen from a roof where few hundred Ring-billed gulls have nested earlier this spring. The birds were reared at Le Nichoir and released this morning near the colony located at the Beauharnois hydro-electric dam where they joined several thousand gulls.

July 4 - A bird fitted with an Argos-GPS has arrived at the Cayuga Correctional Facility near Moravia, NY where it spent the entire fall last year, probably hand-fed by the inmates. The Facility officers asked us whether the inmates could use this device to communicate with the outside, which is not possible.

June 27 - One member of our group has spotted the bird with a blue band XPK that is also fitted with an Argos-GPS at the mouth of the Rivière du Loup; the bird has since moved to Temiscouata Lake. This is the same dispersion route used last year. 

June 23 - The first juveniles have left the Deslauriers colony; they feed by themselves or with their parents along the shores of The St-Lawrence River near the colony or even in dowtown Montreal.

May 9 – The first eggs hatched today on Deslauriers island.

April 22 – We located 2 birds in the Deslauriers colony that had been fitted with ARGOS-GPS last summer. These PTT collect 2 GPS locations (± 10 m) per day and transmit the data once a week via the Argos satellites. Last summer, the bird with blue band XPK flew to Rivière-du-Loup before moving to Edmundston, New Brunswick where it spent the entire fall. He went to Jacksonville, Florida for the winter before returning last week to Varennes. We spotted it today on its nest where a first egg had been laid. Another individual (Blue CJ6) marked last June was observed with its partner (Blue CJ4) near it former nesting site. It spent the winter south of Richmond in Virginia after spending the fall near Trois-Rivières, QC.

April 14 – The first nests were observed today on Deslauriers: 4 days later than last year.