|Adult Western Gull (BLUE C09). Half Moon Bay, CA. 12 Sept 2014.|
I was easily able to read the three character sequence, but the bigger surprise came when the bird turned away:
|Data logger attached to plastic leg band.|
C09 was banded in June of 2013 as an adult near its nest. As of this post, it had not been recaptured (5 others have since been recaptured and their past whereabouts were revealed via the GPS loggers).
|Three outer primaries (p8-p10) retained from previous plumage. Inner primaries new.|
|The epicenter shown above is Ano Nuevo Island. Each color is representative of a unique individual.|
I do want to add that C09 was very easy to pick out of the flock due to the large blue leg band. I've said this many times, and I'm beginning to sound like a broken record: gull banders would get so much more data from the public (birders in particular) if they used these large color bands. Win-win!
Here are a couple of more banded Westerns that I found on the same day. I couldn't gather all 9 digits from the SMALL, TINY, silver federal bands. The colored plastic bands are enough to get one's attention, but then it takes a bit of effort and time to gather the band sequence. I can never understand why these birds aren't banded with slightly larger plastic bands with an alpha-numeric sequence. I usually spend anywhere from 5-10 minutes with each bird to get the USFWS band number, but I was really pressed for time on this day and had to let them go. They look like typical Farallon Island bands:
|Adult type Western Gull. Federal band (right leg) and small red plastic band (left leg). Half Moon Bay, CA. 12 Sept 2014.|
|Juvenile Western Gull. Federal band (left leg) and small blue plastic band (left leg). Half Moon Bay, CA. 12 Sept 2014.|