Volunteers for the Gulls of Appledore project report sightings of banded Herring and Great Black-Backed Gulls. This research relies on people like you–birders, beachgoers, casual observers, to report banded birds! By reporting gull sightings of banded gulls from sites along the New England coast you will be helping the study of seabird ecology on the Maine island of Appledore. Sightings of banded birds contribute important information about survival, longevity, habitat use, movement, and population trends of these two common, but under-appreciated species. Data compiled from the volunteer sightings is a major contribution to research. Since 2004, researchers have banded over 4,000 gulls on Appledore Island in the Isles of Shoals to learn more about the behavior and ecology of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls in the southern Gulf of Maine. The birds breed on Appledore, but travel far from the island in the off-season. We are always curious to know where these youngsters spend the years of their adolescence before returning to breed on Appledore.
Volunteers should be prepared for an on-going commitment, throughout the year. Commitment level is highly variable and determined by the volunteer. Incidental sightings of gulls are always welcome, but so are regular surveys for banded birds in likely locations (beaches, parking lots, landfills, etc.).