31CY European Herring Gull Green FAMA – update

Regular followers of my blog will have noticed that I haven’t posted any reports about old Herring Gull Green FAMA for quite some time.

In fact, my last post was on 19 September 2015 when I had observed her at her usual spot in the city center of Leiden.

Since then I have seen her only once: on October 2nd at Katwijk aan Zee, the other location where she was regularly observed.

Here are some photos that I was able to take (at a great distance):

G-FAMA-20151002-1 G-FAMA-20151002-2

She was observed by other bird watchers a few more times at Katwijk during the month of October and then disappeared out of view, which is a pattern that we have gotten used to over the last couple of years.

She then reappeared at the end of January (also very much on schedule) in Leiden and on February 5 in Katwijk again.

And since then, nothing.

She was supposed to show up again on the market on Saturdays at the end of February or the beginning of March at the latest but we have had no sign of her.

I have visited the market infrequently over the last couple of months to check up on her but she has completely disappeared.

This of course is not a good sign at all and it all points to the fact that she is no longer around. If so, that would be a shame because she would have turned 30 by now.

I will keep checking for the next couple of months just to be completely sure, but I have already resigned myself to the fact that we will no longer be able to enjoy the sights of Green FAMA…

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One thought on “31CY European Herring Gull Green FAMA – update

  1. Hello, Maarten
    The news that FAMA hasn’t been seen for 5 months, not even at the market, isn’t good. As far as I remember, you took several photographs of her last September. Perhaps she will turn up there this September.
    Long-lived birds are really interesting, and yet there is little research on the effects of ageing on foraging efficiency etc. in birds. Some age-related changes in foraging behaviour were found in the Wandering Albatross. The study conducted on an island in the Indian Ocean showed that old males (at least 30 years old) made much longer foraging trips than young/middle-aged males did. In addition to that, old males showed high levels of stress hormone after foraging trips in comparison with pre-trip levels (perhaps owing to low foraging success).
    By the way, there is a Lesser Black-backed Gull in London whose foraging efficiency is outstanding. He’s clearly in the prime of his life. You can see him on Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park birds blog (24 June 2016).
    Regards, Justyna C

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