delawarensis Ring-billed Gull

(last update: 10-03-2014 )

Coordinators:
Keith Mueller
Amar Ayyash
Mars Muusse

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1cy June
1cy July
1cy Aug
1cy Sept
1cy Oct
1cy Nov
1cy Dec

2cy Jan
2cy Feb
2cy March
2cy April
2cy May
2cy June
2cy July
2cy Aug
2cy Sept
2cy Oct
2cy Nov
2cy Dec

3cy Jan
3cy Feb
3cy March
3cy April
3cy May
3cy June
3cy July
3cy Aug
3cy Sept

adult Jan
adult Feb
adult March
adult April
adult May
adult June
adult July
adult Aug
adult Sept
adult Oct
adult Nov
adult Dec

adult: December

Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding, Volume 2: Seabirds, 1921–1995. (Gaston et al., 2008)

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 54.0

Ring-billed Gulls breed in two more or less distinct populations: a western group centred on the prairies and breeding south to Colorado and Wyoming, and an eastern one concentrated in the Great Lakes but extending down the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with outliers in James Bay, northeastern Newfoundland, and southern Labrador (Blokpoel and Tessier 1986). The western population shares some of the Pacific coast wintering range of California Gulls, but also winters inland in the Mississippi valley and northern Mexico. Eastern breeders winter on the Atlantic coast, especially in Florida and on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, straggling to the West Indies. Until recently, these two populations were separated by a clear "migratory divide" west of Lake Superior, but new colonies have been discovered at Lake of the Woods in the centre of this divide (Blokpoel and Tessier 1986).


Encounters (west): Ring-billed Gull (block size = 12.1°; excludes birds moving <400 km) View data table

Most banding operations have concentrated on chicks. In the eastern population, 70% of all bands have been put on in Ontario. Encounters have been analyzed by Southern (1974), Blokpoel and Haymes (1979), and Blokpoel and Tessier (1986), who also documented the dramatic increase in this species since the late 1940s. Encounters of western birds were analyzed by Vermeer (1970a). Blokpoel and Haymes (1979; see also Blokpoel and Courtney 1982) used band encounters to determine the origins of birds establishing a new colony near Toronto and developed a "contribution index," which showed that the largest and closest colonies contributed most recruits to the new colony.


Encounters (young/east/north): Ring-billed Gull (block size = 13.1°; excludes birds moving <400 km) View data table

From May to September, most encounters reported for eastern birds were from the Great Lakes themselves. Dispersal begins in July and is widespread through September, with a number of encounters along the St. Lawrence seaway to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and a few on the U.S. Atlantic coast. There are a few xceptional encounters in Florida in July and August, but the main movement south is from October to December, chiefly along a corridor from lakes Erie and Ontario southeast to the Atlantic coast around Chesapeake Bay. In January and February, over half the encounters are in Florida (record 1), where many birds evidently winter. Northward migration begins in late February, retracing the southward route; by May, very few remain in Florida, and three-quarters of encounters are within the Great Lakes region. A decline in the proportion of encounters from Florida in November–February since the 1960s suggests that the centre of gravity of the wintering area may have shifted northwards. The distribution of 1-year-old birds during the breeding season is unclear; they are encountered within the Great Lakes region then, but are rarely seen at the breeding colonies.


Encounters (young/east/south): Ring-billed Gull (block size = 2.1°; excludes birds moving <400 km) View data table

Although most of the population breeding in eastern Canada winters no farther south than Florida, there are significant numbers of encounters in the Caribbean, as well as one in Brazil (record 2). The latter is by far the most southerly record of the species (Brewer and Salvadori 1978); at that time, Ring-billed Gulls had not been recorded anywhere in continental South America (Meyer de Schauensee 1970). Thirty-two birds banded as nestlings in Ontario (mainly) and Quebec were encountered as follows: Bahamas, 11; Cuba, 7; Hispaniola, 6 (record 3); Jamaica, 3: Puerto Rico, 1; Guadeloupe, 2 (record 4); Antigua, 1; St. Lucia, 1 (record 5). The species is considered a "vagrant" in the Lesser Antilles (Bond 1985). Small numbers of eastern birds were encountered in Mexico, mostly on the Caribbean coast and in Yucatán (record 6); however, there are single encounters on the Pacific coast of Mexico (record 7) and in El Salvador (record 8).


Encounters (adult/east): Ring-billed Gull (block size = 8.1°; excludes birds moving <200 km) View data table

The western population of Ring-billed Gulls winters especially in California (record 9). In contrast to the eastern population, birds banded in the Prairie provinces showed no encounters in the Caribbean basin; although many were encountered in Mexico, they were all north of 18°N and were predominantly from Pacific coast states, with about 30 encounters inland (records 10–12), including one in the Federal District. In spring, some birds take a direct, inland route to the breeding grounds, rather than retracing the ll migration, as California Gulls do (Vermeer 1970a). There is apparently very little interchange between western and eastern populations (Ryder et al. 1983), although a few encounters suggest dispersal between them (records 13–15).


Encounters (transatlantic): Ring-billed Gull View data table

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 54.0 - Overseas records.

Banding Location

Encounter Location

Band Number

Number of encounters represented

Latitude

Longitude

Latitude

Longitude

43.50

79.33

41.17

-0.33

70433203

1

43.83

77.67

36.17

5.83

57500956

1

44.67

80.00

38.50

28.50

41669469

1

Ring-billed Gulls occur regularly in Europe, with records from Spitsbergen, Norway, to Morocco and the Canary Islands; they occur annually in Britain (Perrins and Snow 1998). These records have become much more numerous in recent decades, perhaps because of the enormous increase in the North American population (Blokpoel and Tessier 1986); however, record 16 predates this increase and suggests that transatlantic stragglers may not be a new phenomenon. Record 17, which was fully authenticated, was at the time only the second record of the Ring-billed Gull in Spain and in mainland Europe. There has now been a second encounter in Iberia (record 18).

An Ontario-banded bird (record 19) encountered in 1981 at Presqu'île Provincial Park in Ontario holds the longevity record for this species of 25 years and 1 month (Clapp et al. 1982). The encounter code of record 20, encountered 29 years after banding, does not preclude the bird having been long dead and so does not supersede this record. There are several other >25-year-old encounters, but none was recently dead when found.

Banding effort: Ring-billed Gull

Region

Total Banded

Alberta 3727
British Columbia 22
Northwest Territories 94
Manitoba 4460
New Brunswick 101
Newfoundland and Labrador 2509
Ontario 216042
Quebec 17427
Saskatchewan 20181
Total 264563

 

Summary of banding statistics: Ring-billed Gull

Age at banding

 

Hatch Year

After Hatch Year

Any Age

No. of Canadian bandings (1955-1995) 0 0 264557
No. encountered per 1000 banded (1955-1995) 0 0 35
Total no. encountered (1921-1995) 11927 444 12336
No. encountered from foreign bandings 1793 131 1998
Maximum period from banding to encounter (mo.) 301 182 301
No. of Canadian-banded birds moving > 0 km 8719 190 9053
Mean movement > 0 km of Canadian-banded birds 530 339 528
Maximum movement from all encounters (km) 6296 2589 6296
% recovered (encountered dead) 86 70 86
% direct recoveries 56 26 55
% encountered during banding operations 2 11 3
 

 

Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 0724-27155 12CY, December 10 2002, Village Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, Fort Worth/Arlington, TX. Picture: Martin Reid.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis AAH adult, December 07 2011 & January 13 2013, Hammonasset Beach SP, Madison, CT. Picture: Keith Mueller.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis AXZ adult, December 25 2013, Corona Park, Flushing, Queens, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 0XM adult, December 27 2013, Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis JX3 adult, December 31 2011, Spring Lake, NJ. Picture: Dendroica cerulea.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis M19 adult, December 25 2013, Corona Park, Flushing, Queens, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis PF2 adult, December 23 2011, Coney Island, NY. Picture: Rob Jett.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis THT 6CY, December 25 2013, Corona Park, Flushing, Queens, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis U5A 4CY, December 25 2013, Corona Park, Flushing, Queens, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis U8U adult, December 27 2013, Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis X1A adult, December 22 2013, Southold Beach parking, Suffolk Co., NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis X2M adult, December 03 2014, East 55th Street Marina - Cleveland, OH. Picture: Chuck Slusarczyk.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 418 adult, December 15 2012, Lake Chauncy, Westboro, MA. Picture: Steve Arena.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 501 3rd cycle (3CY), December 15 2012, Lake Chauncy, Westboro WMA, MA. Picture: Steve Arena.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 786 adult, December 31 2013, West Wharf, Madison, CT. Picture: Keith Mueller.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis A1081 adult, March & December 2014, Stratford, CT. Picture: Donna Caporaso & Keith Mueller.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis 330 adult, December 25 2013, Corona Park, Flushing, Queens, NY. Picture: Angus Wilson.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 20 2007, Martin Co., FL. Picture: John Avise.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 06 2012, U.K. Picture: Jim Crozier.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 21 2007, Morro Bay, CA. Picture: Mike Baird.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 31 2012, Illinois. Picture: Amos Oliver Doyle.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 18 2005, Alexandria, VA. Picture: Wikipedia.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 08 2013, Chicago, IL. Picture: Amar Ayyash.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 23 2013, Mississippi coast. Picture: Gary Casey.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 31 2005, Crystal Cove, Orange Co., CA. Picture: John Avise.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 23 2011, Arcata Marsh, Humboldt Co., CA. Picture: Andrew Smith.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 25 2008, Florida, USA. Picture: Danspix.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 23 2010, Contra Costa Co., CA. Picture: Justin Watts.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 11 2012, Florida, USA. Picture: Sophie Buck.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 23 2010, Contra Costa Co., CA. Picture: Justin Watts.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 24 2007, Doheney Beach, Orange Co., CA. Picture: John Avise.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 19 2009, Belmont, CA. Picture: Jack, Sutton.
Ring-billed Gull delawarensis adult, December 19 2007, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Florida. Picture: Reinhard Giesler.