IJmuiden Lesser Black-backed Gull GPS-project update: adult migration routes 2019 – 2020

Last year, 10 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls of our IJmuiden Forteiland project in the Netherlands were fitted with a GPS logger by researchers from the University of Amsterdam.

In July and August 2019 the gulls left the breeding colony to eventually spend the winter ‘somewhere south’. During that time, their position was stored by the logger at regular time intervals.

In March and April 2020 five of them have returned. Now that their data has been fully downloaded, their destination – including the route they took to get there and to get back  – has been revealed.

It turned out that 3 of them spent the winter in Spain (at different locations), while 1 went to Morocco and 1 to Algeria.

(Click the image for a larger view.)


  • YASV/5369 – Spain
  • YAVL/5963 – Spain
  • YBHM/5962 – Spain
  • YBJC/5491- Morocco
  • YCVN/5579 – Algeria

The data from YCVN/5579 is especially exciting for us because it is the first recovery from that country for our project.

I will update this page when data of the other 5 individuals become available should they too return.

Follow the gulls on http://www.uva-bits.nl/project/daily-movements-of-gulls-from-forteiland-ijmuiden/.

About the project

(Source: http://www.uva-bits.nl/project/daily-movements-of-gulls-from-forteiland-ijmuiden/)

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. Feel free to include me on the e-mail: gulls at vankleinwee.com.


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