Pit-roig Banding Group

Pit-roig Banding Group

Pit-roig Banding Group

On June 12, as we have been doing for some years, we made the ringing of Audouin gull chicks in the colony of the Port of Castellón. In total, 485 individuals were captured and marked with metal + PVC, to which was attached 1 specimen ringed only with metal a few days later.

We are in a time of dispersion, and it would be expected that, once abandoned the colony where they were born, the chicks were to travel the Mediterranean in search of places to feed. Little by little they should move south to the coasts of West Africa (the southern limit is the Gulf of Guinea), where they will spend the winter and, in the case of the majority, even the first two years. And they do not return "home" until they know how to reproduce ... - to migrate back only to look at those who copulate? - what we have said is the theory, what is expected after many years of studies in this locality and especially in the Delta of the Ebro. But sometimes chance (or who knows if other causes) make us find things quite different ... And is that having spent little more than a month since we started to ring, we already have 2 observations outside the colony. And no, no one follows the patterns that were to be expected.

On July 17, Manuel Petiz observed CCT5 in Portugal. Although far away, it was expected to see some in the south Luso, because in areas near as Huelva stop to rest and to feed many copies in the post-nuptial. But the case is that CCT5 was in Espinho (Aveiro), and that is almost Oporto and therefore Galicia.

Does this mean that seagulls no longer migrate south? Is climate change leading to this unprecedented disaster and we have to run to loot supermarkets to survive the holocaust? Let's not draw conclusions prematurely. At the moment what it means is that some very dispersed chickens are traveling the Iberian Peninsula to the crazy thing, perhaps following adults of yellow-legged gull (many colonies are mixed), or simply because it is the exploratory stage, nothing strange in this and others species. Or who knows if they are starting to change habits ... Only time, well-designed studies and a good network of observers will be able to answer this question.

In Gabi Martín's blog there is more information on Audouin's unusual chicks move this year

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