My favorite gull looses one of his rings

Big news: my favorite Herring Gull with color rings Black D/Green A has lost a ring!

When I saw him 7 days ago, he still had both rings, a black ring with the letter D on the left leg and a green ring with the letter A on the right leg:

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) one week ago, still carrying both color rings. Leiden, The Netherlands, 26 May 2012.

When I saw him yesterday though, he only carried the green ring:

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) now with only the green ring. Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 June 2012.

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus),  Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 June 2012.

European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 June 2012.

Considering that these rings were fitted 26 (!) years ago, it should come as no surprise that they are starting to wear heavily and we should actually count ourselves lucky that these rings have lasted as long as they have.

The green ring is also damaged and may not last much longer either. This would be a shame because this is one of very few known Herring Gulls of this age in Holland. There have been plans for quite some time to have a new ring fitted, but the locations where he is seen are not very suitable for attempting to catch him.

Should he also loose the other ring he will still be identifiable by other characteristics such as location, type of behavior and more importantly, the bare patch on the right side of his head which appears each year during the moult to winter (basic) plumage. Fingers crossed though that the green ring will last for some time longer!

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