With the winter coming to a close, an exciting period is ahead of us: the return of the adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls to the colony at IJmuiden Forteiland, the Netherlands for another breeding season.
We have been observing the colony regularly over the past few weeks and have seen a large increase in returning adults each week. Many of them are colour-ringed, but so far no adults with a GPS-logger have been sighted. We did receive a report though of YASV (logger #5369) which was seen in Madrid, Spain last week, indicating that it is on its way from Malaga.
Photo above: YASV in the colony in 2019.
As far as the ones that were fitted with a GPS-logger as a juvenile in 2019 are concerned, 2 are confirmed dead and for 1 the status is unknown. The other 6 are currently wintering in France (1), Spain (2), and Morocco (3):
- YCWF 5946 Has moved from Pas-de-Calais south to Cholet, east of Nantes.
- YCWT 5797 Is still in Agadir, Morocco since December
- YCXJ 5952 Is still in Málaga, since January
- YCZP 5943 Is still in Casablanca, Morocco since December
- YCZN 5942 Has moved from Madrid, Spain south to Fuente de Piedra, north of Málaga.
- YCZT 5953 Is still in Rabat, Morocco since November
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.