Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

(last update: July 12, 2015)

Jean-Michel Sauvage (France)
Morten Helberg (Norway)
Nils Helge Lorentzen (Norway)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 7E3 adult, January 22 2012, Point Pleasant beach, NJ. Picture: Alex Tongas.

Many of the gulls have been banded within the past five years. 7E3 is not one of those gulls. On January 22nd, Alex Tongas spotted 7E3 at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. The story for 7E3 goes back to the beginning when Dr. Ellis first started banding the gulls. Bill Clark shares 7E3's story:

The Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG) 7E3 was originally banded as an adult in 2004 by Dan Hayward on Appledore Island near the Dive Shed when the gull project was using easily lost and damaged plastic color rings on the foot opposite the USGS band.  The plastic rings were small and had no numerals on them.  In 2004, 7E3 was known as Y/BK (Yellow over Black).  Y/BK (7E3) was recorded in May 2006 nesting in the same location where banding had occurred with 6A8 as the mate. 
On May 28 2007 Y/BK was nesting near the dive shed again; the damaged bands were removed and Y/BK officially became 7E3. Multiple sightings are recorded from Appledore Island in the same Dive Shed area for 2007, 2008, 2009 (mate was 1A5), 2010, and 2011. 
Some of the chicks raised by 7E3 have been banded thus giving us the possibility of following the next generation. One of 7E3's chicks banded in 2007 was reported on Appledore Island on the roof of the Kiggins Commons building in July of 2010 may return in 2012 to nest on Appledore.
We do not have an exact age for 7E3, only an estimate that 7E3, banded as an adult in May 2004, is probably at least 11 years of age.  Since GBBGs live long life spans of +-25 years, 7E3 may be on Appledore for quite a few years to come. 
All sightings are valuable, even seven consecutive days at the same locations provides needed data, but this one is especially exciting since the gull is well known on Appledore and descendents are also banded.