In addition to our Ring-billed gull program, several gull marking programs are currently conducted in eastern North America. We encourage you to report your sightings directly to the respective researchers but if you are unsure about which program or have problems with English, you can always send us your observations and we will forward them. In addition to the auxiliary markers, all birds are fitted with US Fish & Wildlife Service metal leg bands. Click on the pictures to see details of the various markers.

  • Dr Francesca Cuthbert of the University of Minnesota is leading a study on the potential role of ring-billed gulls in the transmission of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. Over a thousand gulls have been marked with red plastic bands with three codes (num, num, alpha) to provide information on where the birds move around the state in relation to poultry facilities and where they may mix with other species during other parts of the year. Sightings can be sent directly to Dr. Cuthbert.

  • Massachusetts gull tagging study - This program supervised by Dan Clark of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation involves the marking of Ring-billed, Herring and Great black-backed Gulls with patagial (wing) tags and coloured metal leg bands.

  • The Gulls of Appledore – Dr. Julie C. Ellis of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is maintaining a marking program of Herring and Great black-backed Gulls on Appledore Island in Maine. She used plastic leg bands of different colors engraved with 3 codes (letters and digits).

  • The gulls of Sable Island – Dr. Robert Ronconi from Acadia University is marking gulls on Sable Island, Nova Scotia using wing tags and leg bands on Herring (pink) and Great black-backed Gulls (green). Both wing tags and leg bands have the same unique 3-letter code.

  • Research scientists Greg Robertson of Environment Canada and Alex Bond from the University of Saskatchewan are marking Herring and Great black-backed Gulls near St-John’s and on Gull Island in the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve (Avalon Peinsula) in Newfoundland using coloured plastic bands (orange) with 2 black codes (letters and digits). Some Herring Gulls also have beige wing tags with black codes composed of a letter (X) and two digits. You can send your sighting to Greg Robertson or Alex Bond.

  • Glaucous Gulls have been marked on Bylot Island in Nunavut by the research team led by Professor Gilles Gauthier from Laval University. The birds are fitted with blue plastic band with a 2-alphanumeric code (letter/digit). Sightings may be reported directly to Marie-Christine Cadieux.

  • Drs. Noah Perlut and Peggy Friar, University of New England, are studying the costs and benefits associated with roof-top nesting by Herring Gulls in Portland, ME. Adults and nestlings are fitted with either an orange or blue plastic leg band engraved with a 3-letter code. Sightings can be reported directly to Dr. Perlut.