U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in North American Bird Bander (2011) 36:53-57.


We studied three Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) colonies in the Sandusky Bay area, Sandusky, OH, between 1981 and 2006. During this period, we banded 24,000 nestlings and received reports of 347 recovered bands. Forty-nine of these band recoveries were as adults recovered during the nesting season as far as 890 km from their natal colony. Gulls were also captured at five other colonies located in the Great Lakes. Gulls recovered outside the original 10-min block of banding accounted for 47 percent of the returns. We hypothesize that half of the recoveries of adult Herring Gulls during the nesting season occurred outside their natal colony, because prime nesting locations within a colony became scarce and suboptimal nesting locations were the only option for nesting.