Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Breeding Seabird on Southeast Farallon:
the California Gull

There is a new breeding seabird species on Southeast Farallon Island, bringing the total to 13! Though previously known to only breed on the mainland, often by lakes or brackish waters, a small group of California Gulls has begun to breed on the island. These gulls were seen in previous years on the island, roosting in intertidal areas, but appeared in greater numbers this year. After watching the California Gulls for weeks through a telescope (to minimize disturbance), their intent to breed was confirmed by the presence of eggs. We didn’t want to let the opportunity to study a new seabird species pass us by so we have already established a study plot with marked nests. We are very excited about beginning to study this species in its new breeding habitat.


Anonymous said...

Lucky 13! Go CAGU! Does someone get an extra gull plot for these guys or do they get added to whoever does the geezer gulls? Also, are these guys increasing in number on Alcatraz as well?

Brett Hartl said...

I am shocked. Shocked and appalled. To think that the mighty Western Gull would suffer such an indignity - to share its island with another gull is most distressing. Let us hope that the black heart within is hatching a secret plan to eat the young of all those who would dare trespass on the island. Perhaps one of biologists on the island needs to play the "I Am Gull" song to remind the Western Gull of its proper role.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, it's Jane again. You never responded to my inquiry about the shark population and the recent attack. I read the Devil's Teeth and found the book very interesting but note that your blog seems to focus exclusively on the island bird population. Do you continue to study the sharks via tagging or observation?