Roof-top nesting Herring Gulls

Gulls nest on roof-tops around the world. However, gulls typically nest on roof-tops rather than on islands when there are no more islands for them to nest on (e.g. their populations are growing). In Portland, Maine, where Herring Gull populations decline ~5% annually, Herring Gulls continue to nest of roof-tops. We study the costs and benefits of big city life, including reproductive success, diet, dispersal and movement (see publications here). Our current work now focuses on understanding movement patterns by these birds and trying to identify if the birds hatched on roof-tops return to Portland to breed 4-5 years later. We use orange and blue bands–please report any banded gulls here.

All of our gulls are banded with both a metal band and a color band with three letters. We generally only use orange bands with black letters but have banded some with blue bands and white letters.