Report a Marked Gull

Your sightings of marked gulls will help with this research project to monitor the year-round movements of these birds.  Even partial information is welcome (e.g. you saw a pink wing tag but missed the letter code).

Basic reports:

Date, Location (be specific), Band Colour, and Observer Name

Additional details:

  • Time & GPS position
  • Band & code colour (e.g. white on pink)
  • 3-letter code (e.g. AAZ)
  • Habitat (e.g. platform, vessel, pier, parking lot, beach, city)
  • Behaviour (e.g. following boat, loafing on beach, flying by, feeding)
  • Other comments and stories
  • Photos are always welcome and can help to identify the letter code

In North America, any marked birds or metal banded bird can be reported to the USGS website


Report your sightings of marked birds by posting comments on this blog or emailing Dr. Ronconi at . See links bar to “Other Gull Research” if you think you’ve spotted a gull from a different research program.

Herring Gull ‘AAR’ released after tagging on Sable Island


65 responses

21 08 2011
Bruce Mactavish

What about green wing tags? Saw an adult Herring Gull with a green wing tag in St. John’s, Newfoundland on 21 August 2011. Too many feathers in the way to read the number.

Bruce Mactavish
St. John’s, NL

22 08 2011
Rob Ronconi

There are several projects using coloured leg bands on a variety of gull species, but only a few that have been using wing tags. One study from Massachusetts used green and blue wing-tags on Herring Gulls with the letter “K” on the tags. I suspect this bird you saw was banded during this study.

Dan Clark is coordinating this research from Massachusetts and contact information is provided on the DCR Water Supply Protect Gull Study wesite. I’m sure Dan would appreciate some information on this sighting.

Rob Ronconi
Halifax, NS

4 10 2011
Allan and Cathy Murrant

We found a Herring Gull at Beacon St. Dam in Glace Bay NS. Oct 3, 2011 AAF A photo of the gull is on our website

2 11 2011


I found a gull in st.johns Newfoundland today with a Orange leg band marked D7….Any ideas ? I will have pictures posted of the bird on my blog tomorow

Brendan Kelly

3 11 2011
Rob Ronconi

Hi Brendan,

Orange bands with that numbering combination have been used by the Canadian Wildlife Service in Newfoundland. I’m not sure which colony these were banded at. Greg Robertson at the Mount Pearl office has been leading this work and he would be happy to hear about this sighting. Thanks for the report.


22 01 2012
Jesse Jaycox

I saw a herring gull tagged AAF with one pink leg band and one silver leg band with other gulls on the Hudson River in Beacon, New York (USA) today, 1/22/12.

Is this the same gull from Nova Scotia? If so, can you tell me more about it? Thank you.

23 01 2012
Rob Ronconi

Yes indeed. We banded this gull June 9th, 2011, on Sable Island. This was an adult female captured at the breeding colony during the incubation period. Since the breeding season, she was spotted twice in early October at Beacon St. Dam in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Thanks for this report…I will contact you by email to get more details.

Rob Ronconi
Halifax, NS

15 03 2012

got a Gull with red band western end of Banqureau bank ,

15 03 2012
Rob Ronconi

Hm. Interesting. Red bands are not from the Sable study but have been used lots of places in different studies. Bay of Fundy, Massachusetts, and even as far away as Nunavut. If you got a photo or read the band number we’d be able to track it down for you. Rob

5 05 2012

I saw a gull with a green wing tag with the code A 302 on it, it was on its right wing. I saw it today in Cornwall, Ontario, down along the water, it was feeding near a group of ducks.

6 05 2012
Rob Ronconi

Thanks Mary,
That code and colour was not a Sable Island bird but probably one banded in a winter study from Massachusetts. I will be sure to pass on this sighting to the person leading this study but in the meantime here is a link to learn more: DCR gull study

16 05 2012

I saw a blue tag on the left wing of a seagull today and yesterday . We’re fishing scaloppe 10 milles off St-anne-de-kent , NB . In Northumberland Strait . He was feeding and fallowing us all day .

23 05 2012
Angus MacLeod, Big Bras d'Or

I saw a torqouise tag on a blackback seagull at the entrance to the Bras d’Or Lakes, just off Cape Dauphin, NS. Sorry could not read the letters/numbers on the tag because we were lobster fishing at the time.

15 08 2012
Danny Boomhower

saw at OOB Maine not close enough to read

17 09 2012
Bev Jinks

I have seen a black on pink wing tag. In St Anne’s Cemetery, Glace Bay . I will forward a picture of the gull. I can make out AA_ but i can’t make out the last letter.

1 10 2012
Bruce Buckingham

Do you get very many sighting from the interor of NY, Penn NJ?

1 10 2012
Rob Ronconi

Hi Bruce,

Last year we did get sighting reports of one bird AAF that was spotted quite a few times in interior NY and NJ. Here are a couple links to those sightings in March (click here) and earlier in January (click here).

This was only one of the 21 birds we tagged last year but hopefully we’ll get more reports this winter.


19 01 2013
maureen fornabaio

Today 1-19-2013 in Westchester county NY I saw a gull in a supermarket parking lot with a bright orange tag on its wing with the number 671 on it.

20 01 2013
Rob Ronconi

Hi Maureen. Thanks for this report. It wasn’t from our study but I passed on your report to the people who tagged this bird in their study from Massachusetts:


30 01 2013

Greetings, I just spied a gull with a dark blue leg tag marked C2T on the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC. (S)He was happily hopping about, trying to eat some bread crumbs from my wee little daughter. We took lots of pictures that I’d be happy to forward along with more info if it would be of use to anyone.


6 04 2013
Darrell Lawlor

Spotted a herring full at Topsail Beach with a orange wing tag with the numbers 915 on it

13 04 2013
Mark O'Neill

Tag # 915
Topsail Beach, Newfoundland

Is this helpful?
Have I contacted the right person?

14 04 2013
Rob Ronconi

Thanks Mark. This is not a bird from Sable Island but I’ve forwarded the details to other gull researchers who may know where it is from and will contact you if they know. Possible from this study in Massachusetts:


13 04 2013

Hello, I was at Burger King on Lafeyette road in (I believe Rye, but it may be Portsmouth, NH), and I was feeding the remains of my lunch to the Gulls when I noticed a band on one of their legs. It was hard to make out, but I believe it read “488”, I don’t remember the color for sure, but I think it might have been orange. Hope this helps someone.

14 04 2013
Rob Ronconi

Thanks Shaun. This is not a bird from Sable Island but I’ve forwarded the details to other gull researchers who may know where it is from and will contact you if they know.


14 04 2013
David D'Eon

Last summer in Arichat..cape breton…nova scotia…i took a photo of a gull with a tag on each wing ( x25)..the tag was white…on it’s leg it looked to be a red tag

22 04 2013
Josee Walsh

I seen one today, April 22, 2013 in the McDonald’s parking lot in Bathurst NB, it had a red circle on each wing with the numbers 1001 written in black. (that’s what I could see when he stretched his wings anyways..)

26 04 2013

Saw immature herring gull with green wing tags #136 at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye NH 4/16/13

9 05 2013
Paul Hopfgarten

Saw a tagged Gull in Portsmouth NH today (feeding at the local Burger King!) Green Leg Tag #A-54

14 05 2013
Marlene Knight

While fishing today, my husband seen a gull with two pink bands. He has the letters written down, and will give me the info tomorrow. It was A?F is what he remembers off the top of his head. He seen it half way between Grand Manan NB and Nova Scotia. I will send more details when he gives them too me.

15 05 2013
Rob Ronconi

Hi Marlene,

That sounds like one of the gulls from our study. I look forward to getting the details.


28 07 2013
Brock Seaward

Saw one of of the gulls with a pink leg band on the left and a silver on the right leg (ankle). At the port aux basques marine Atlantic terminal. Gulls activity was waiting around and enjoying people’s left over food that thu would throw to it

3 08 2013
Rex Gibbons

I took photos of a gull with a red tag at Lumsden Harbour, Newfoundland, on Friday, August, 2nd, 2013. Was told by people on the wharf that it has been hanging around there for at least a couple of weeks, feeding on fish debris, etc. Several others of the same species also p[resent.
Rex Gibbons

3 08 2013
Ellie Hutchinson

At 1990 hours Aug.03,2013 I spotted a Herring Gull with a PINK wing Tag # 991.It was feeding witha flock of other gulls on our lawn,following a heavy rain shower.We are located at Bass River Point NB at the juncture of the Molus and Richibucto Rivers.We are approximately 14 miles from the Richibucto Harbour. Hope this is of interest.

8 08 2013
Gary Doucette

August 7, 2013 I saw a Gull with round red markers on each wing, could not read any numbers. Cape Pele , New Brunswick on beach.

16 08 2013
Don Beach

Aug 16, 2013 Marked Gull with Orange round tags with black letters on both wings, Tag No: A 881, Red tag on left leg, location: Amherst Nova Scotia Canada ( Mall parking-lot ) bumming food.

16 08 2013
Dan K

Saw pink tag 1001 at Old Orchard Beach, ME today.

14 09 2013
amos kelley

lobstering today by jordan island in frenchman’s bay in winter harbor maine—had large farmer gull on trunk house with a black and orange band on right leg with number m2c on it other leg had what looked like an aluminim band on it—–very healthy looking threw him or her a herring and off they went

15 09 2013
amos kelley

amos kelley again made an error on leg tag color its like a redish brown tag with white numbers and letters –M2C–he was aboard us again today about 3 miles from where we saw him yesterday —must like the free fish

10 10 2013

Spotted a gull with pink wing tags with AAF on them at Beacon Street dam, Glace Bay, NS on October 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM.

1 11 2013
Rob Ronconi

Thanks for this report! AAF has been of our most frequently sighted gulls during our study and has been spotted at Beacon St. Dam each fall in 2011, 2012, and now again in 2013! Gulls seem to be amazingly faithful to their favourite stomping grounds.

11 10 2013
Margo Goetschkes and Steve Grinley

A Great Black-backed Gull banded with 6A1 black on right leg and a silver band on the left leg was in the parking lot near the jetty at Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, MA on 6 Oct 2013 around noon roosting with the other gulls.

1 11 2013
Rob Ronconi

Thanks for this report. Based on your description and my contacts with other gull researchers, I think this gull was banded in Maine. Here is a link to the island where the gull was banded:

21 10 2013

Seen a tagged gull at Beacon St Dam in Glace Bay NS

1 11 2013
Rob Ronconi

Hi Keri,

thanks for the report. If you have any more details (tag colour, sighting date) that would be appreciated. Your email address doesn’t seem to work when i tried to write you.


1 11 2013
Lisa de Leon

Saw a tagged Iceland Gull at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2013 at Quidi Vidi Lake, St. John’s, NL. I wore two tags: One small silver one with no visible markings and one yellow tag labeled A4.

16 11 2013
Andrea and Claudia

Spotted a gull with pink wing tags with AAF on them at Beacon Street dam, Glace Bay, NS on November 16, 2013 at 10am. He seems to like the place 🙂

19 11 2013
Rob Ronconi

Thanks Andrea and Claudia. I’ve had 10 reports of gull AAF since we started the project and it was tagged in 2011. 7 of these reports have come from Glace Bay so this seems to be a favourite spot of this bird: 2 sightings in Oct 2011, 2 sightings in Sept 2012, and 3 sightings in Oct/Nov 2013! The other three reports are from wintering grounds in New York and New Jersey.

Please keep reporting AAF if he/she continues to linger around Glace Bay.

Rob Ronconi
Halifax, NS

3 03 2014
Mary Ellen Helger

Saw seagull with orange tags on both wings. Number 0860. In Middletown ri

4 03 2014

Well we saw an orange tagged seagull with the number 5701

14 03 2014

Hello – is this your gull? I have seen other color bands, but this one seems like shape of yours. I was unable to see any leg bands due to obscured view.

See notes for photo on my Flickr page above. Location observed at 39.7196489,-75.5350399.

It was foraging on organic debris and garbage with lots of other gulls (also observed 6 Iceland Gulls and 1 Glaucous Gull at same location). An eBird report will be available soon.


4 10 2014
Andrea and Claudia

We spotted AAF again at the Beacon St Dam, Glace Bay NS – he was having a snack with the ducks at around 2pm today.

8 10 2014
Clarence Stevens

Hi Rob I see that your wing tagged Herring Gull AAF has been seen several times at the Beacon Street Dam in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

Yesterday on Oct 7, 2014 my father and I spotted possible another of your Herring Gulls at the same location but with a different designation.

The wing tag was hot pink and last two letters were AN the first letter was covered by wing feathers but it might have been an A.

Does this match up to any of your birds? My curiosity would love to know.

Keep up the great work it is fascinating to me.

Also is there someplace where I can see all the locations your gulls have ended up and when? If so I would find that thrilling to see. – All the Best, Clarence Stevens

10 10 2014
Jessica maynard

Saw a seagull in a Dover NH at Woodman Park Elemrntary school Friday October 10th at 5 pm with a blue leg band it had three white numbers on it

6 12 2014
Pepenella, David

Observed Gull single r/s wing tagged orange. Patchogue, NY. 12/6/14 2:00pm

16 01 2015
dana seibert

Saw orange tag #679 in chicopee ma

10 03 2015
Doreen Abrams

Saw a gull with a silver band on his left leg and a blue band with white letters that i believe were BCI on his right leg. He was in the Pathmark parking lot on Flatlands ave and Louisiana ave in Brooklyn N.Y. The bird was eating food that was being thrown out by several people. I would love if you could tell me what type of gull this was and if you have any other info on him I’m very interested. Thank you

4 06 2015
Ron Duggan

I recently spotted a banded seagull in Bay Roberts, NL
It was a blue band on its left leg #894

Don’t know if it’s any good to anyone but I figured someone would know what to do with the information

27 06 2015
Carl Lundrigan

I saw a seagull outside a coffee shop in Bay Robert’s,Newfoundland & Labrador.It had a metal band on one leg and a larger blue band on the other with the #89A.

5 07 2015

A seagull has been showing up at my house lately around dinner time to eat with my crows. Yesterday it was perched on my grandmothers roof. I noticed it slid down the roof instead of flying. I thought never seen a seagull do that before. I wish could have made a video. I never saw a seagull roof skiing before! What really made me take notice is he has a tag! I know he will be back again tonight around dinner time. I am going to take pictures of him!

30 07 2015
Rob Ronconi

Did the bird come back? Let me know if you get a picture. Rob

27 10 2015
Bruce Buckingham

Are you still banding nestling Herring Gulls with pink leg bands on the left leg?

14 12 2016
Doreen Abrams

Saw seagull with a blue leg band with white letters marked 80A. Saw it at Canarsir pier in the parking lot with about 40 other gulls. He was acting normal and looked healthy to me, eating scraps of food from the floor and items thrown out by people. Could you tell me what type of seagull it is and where it was tagged at originally, whenever I’m at the pier I try to find birds with tags that I can seems info about.

26 02 2017
Kathy Weber

Seagull landed right in front of me on the wall at Hampton beach, NH….had blue band on one leg with K41…..and metal band on the other leg….very nice gull…almost let me pat him 😊

26 02 2017
David McCorquodale

Herring Gull with pink band, white lettering ALL, in North Sydney, Nova Scotia today, 26 February 2017. It was loafing in a parking lot where people feed the gulls at Indian Beach. I presume this is one of the Sable Island gulls from about 2011 by the pink band. David McCorquodale, Georges River, NS.

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