The ones that did not make it: finding deceased gulls in breeding colony of IJmuiden Forteiland – 20160829

Now that all breeding Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls have left the colony of IJmuiden Forteiland, it was time for us today to make one final visit in search for any dead birds that were fitted with a metal and/or color ring.

In total we found 14 individuals: 3 Herring Gulls (2 adults, 1 juvenile) and 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (2 adults, 9 juveniles).


It was strange to see the colony completely empty (and most of all, quiet):


Finding these individuals this way was a sad sight to see, but it is important for our research project to know that they are not around anymore.

Some of these individuals have given us years of data while others were less fortunate and died close to were they were born this year.

As a tribute to these gulls, I will list some of them here:

Herring Gull Green YAFJ

Ringed as a pullus in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 30 June 2008. It died in its territory, 8 years old.


We have many sightings of this bird, in and around the colony. I observed YAFJ 6 times myself this year, 5 times in the colony.

Here it is as a juvenile while it was being ringed in June 2008:


Here it is in May 2015:

G-YAFJ-20150529-2 G-YAFJ-20150529-1

In April 2016:


In July 2016:


Herring Gull Green YCCZ

Ringed as a pullus in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 1 July 2016.


It was particularly sad to find YCCZ dead in the colony because both parents are also colour-ringed and we were looking forward to see YCCZ grow up and start a family itself.

It was lucky to have been born at all though because the other 2 eggs that its mother laid were predated.

YCCZ-1-July-2016-Forteiland-IJmuiden-Maarten-van-Kleinwee-2 YCCZ-1-July-2016-Forteiland-IJmuiden-Maarten-van-Kleinwee-1

Lesser Black-backed Gull Green YBHU

Ringed as an adult in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 17 May 2013.

I have only seen this male 5 times in total, of which 3 times this year, all in the colony.

When we found YBHU today it showed active primary moult, with P4 about three-quarters grown. This indicates that it died only recently.


27 May 2016:


26 May 2014:


Lesser Black-backed Gull Green YBHV

Ringed as an adult in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 17 May 2013.


YBHV also showed active primary moult with P1 to P3 fully grown.


I have observed YBHV on 6 occasions only, the last time was on 4 July 2016.

Here he is in April 2015:


Lesser Black-backed Gull Green YCDX

Ringed as a pullus in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 4 July 2016.

When we found it today, not much was left of it.


YCDX when we ringed it in July this year:


Lesser Black-backed Gull Green YCFU

Ringed as a pullus in the IJmuiden Forteiland colony 4 July 2016.

YCFU was never sighted as a fedgling, and today we found out why.



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