Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge

Eggs, eggs everywhere: The Gulls

By | May 18, 2017

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The Western Gull (Larus occidentalis):

Everyone who has worked with breeding Western Gulls can say one thing: These birds are loud.

At the beginning of the seabird season (March-April) everything was good. We started sighting banded birds. Each bird has a color band and a metal band with a unique 5-digit number. Many birds have been banded since they were chicks, so we know exactly how old they are.

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This Red-Metal bird was born in 2004 in the same plot it now breeds in.

Then mates started “canoodling”…

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On May 1st we saw the first eggs in the study plots. As seen in the picture, Western Gulls usually lay 3 eggs. The third egg can usually be recognized by its smaller size and squiggly markings.

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However, this simple event changes everything on the island. They become loud (really loud) and active.

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We now need to use hard hats for protection.

What will happen when the chicks start hatching?!

 

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