November 17 - 250th observation by Raymond Belhumeur in 2012! Raymond Belhumeur of Longueuil has just submitted his 250th observation since the beginning of the year. He spotted gull BCZ4 on the Chambly canal nearby Île Ste-Thérèse. Raymond had seen this bird at the same site on 31 October 2010 and 14 December 2011, which shows that ring-billed gulls are very faithful to their post-breeding resting site. The bird had been banded in 2010 in the Deslauriers Island colony and observed on a nest in 2011. MERCI RAYMOND!
October 27 - Northeast Gull Working Group. Cécile Girault, Martin Patenaude-Monette and Jean-François Giroux participated to the first meeting of the Northeast Gull Working Group in Bar Harbor, Maine. The researchers presented their results and exchanged information with other Canadian and American colleagues.
October 15 - Faithful to McDo! Mike O'Leary has spotted the gull with band JKCF for the fourth consecutive fall at the same McDonald's in Ellington, Connecticut. This birds was banded as a juvenile in the Deslauriers colony in 2009.
August 16 - North American Ornithological Conference. Cécile Girault presented some of her Ph.D. results at the Fifth North American Ornithological Conference in Vancouver, BC. Her poster entitled Post-breeeding movements and habitat use by ring-billed gulls: a diversity of strategies was co-authored by Gilles Gauthier and Jean-François Giroux.
May 22 - Triennal survey. Our group has joined Canadian Wildlife Service biologists to suvey gull colonies in southern Quebec. A total of 77,000 nests were recorded, which is 9,000 more than in 2009 but 7,500 and 19,500 less than in 2006 and 1994, respectively. Stabilisation of the population is therefore confirmed and the population might even be declining. For the first time, nearly 2,100 pairs were found nesting on flat roofs of buildings in the western part of the island of Montreal.
April 6 - The breeding season is started. The first three nests with one egg each were located by our crew this morning on Île Deslauriers. This is earlier than in 2010 and 2011 when the first nests were found on April 10 and 14, respectively. This confirms the early Spring.
March 11 - The first sighting of the season in Quebec. Raymond Belhumeur, our most productive volunteer, has reported his first sighting (BA8L) of the season at Parc de la Cité in St-Hubert. This is four days earlier than last year when Raymond saw his first marked gull on March 15 2011 at the Récré-O-Parc, Ste-Catherine.
March 5 - The gulls are back. The first gulls were seen today in downtown Montreal, 6 days earlier than in 2011. Maybe a sign of an early Spring?
January 10 - A gull tracked with an ARGOS-GPS to Cuba! The gull marked with the band BFT7 on Deslauriers Island in June 2011 has crossed the ocean from North Carolina to Miami just before Christmas. It had previously spent the fall in the Quebec City region and flew along the Atlantic coast to NC. After few days in FL, it left for Cuba for the New Year and is now just south of Cayo Coco... Another gull tracked with and ARGOS-GPS and with band BULM has flown from NC to the Bahamas before moving to Miami. After few days, it went to the Gulf Coast near Sanibel Island. The tracking devices record two locations per day (noon and midnight) and send these locations via satellite once a week. Although conventional banding had already revealed that some Ring-billed gulls do winter in FL and Cuba, our detailed tracking is the first to describe the precise route taken by the gulls.