In an interesting addition to our research project in the gull colony of IJmuiden Forteiland, the Netherlands, 10 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls have been fitted with a GPS-logger on May 24, 2019.
This was done in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam (UvA, who provide the techology) and NIOZ (who manages our colour ring project since its start in 2008).
The aim of this project is to get a better insight into the movements of our gulls, especially in relation to offshore wind farms on the North Sea. Similar studies are being held in the colonies of Texel and Schiermonnikoog.
Recent data of each bird (the last 3 days of available data) can be seen on uva-bits.nl. The page also provides more information about the project.
As the map above of all 10 loggers shows (click for a larger image), the first data already reveals interesting trips out to sea, along the coast, and to the city of Amsterdam.
We are excited about this new way of learning from these gulls over the coming years!
Submit your observations
While we can obviously track our gulls digitally for at least part of the year, we are still very interested in any sightings at any time. We would especially like to know about the condition of the logger, behaviour of the gull (eating, resting, preening, and so on), and details about the location and conditions.
Should you come across one of our gulls therefore, please submit your sighting (with photos if you have them) to Kees Camphuysen: kees.camphuysen (at) nioz.nl. Feel free to CC me on it as wel: gulls (at) vankleinwee.com.
About the project
The tracking study is part of an ongoing collaboration between the University of Amsterdam UvA (Dr. Judy Shamoun-Baranes) and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research NIOZ (Dr. Kees Camphuysen).
The study is being conducted within the project “Interactions between birds and offshore wind farms: drivers, consequences and tools for mitigation” funded by NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences Open Technology Programme, Rijkswaterstaat and Gemini windpark.
The tracking study will provide complementary information on the movement patterns of gulls breeding along the North Sea coast, with similar objectives to the studies conducted on Texel and Schiermonnikoog.
The main aim is to identify intrinsic and external drivers of movement from fine scale flight behaviour to seasonal migrations. While adult gulls from other colonies have been tracked since 2008, little is still known about the daily movements and flight behaviour of juveniles and how this differs from adults.
This study will contribute to our knowledge on how juvenile birds develop their foraging and migration strategies and how their flight behaviour differs from adults.
If you come across any of our gulls from the IJmuiden Forteiland project, please let us know.