Ring-Billed Gull

A ring-billed gull was tracked traveling between Montreal, Quebec and Ocean City, Maryland.

A Ring-billed gull was spotted on the beaches of Ocean City earlier this month by Ocean City businesswoman Susan Emond, who noted that the band attached to its leg showed that it is part of a study being conducted by a scientific organization in Montreal, Quebec.

According to the Emond, she saw the gull near Fourth Street. After looking into the blue band, she found that the Ocean City area is where this type of gull breeds.

And this is not the first time the bird has visited Ocean City — it has flown between Montreal and Ocean City at least two times over the last few years, according to researchers tracking the bird’s movement.

According to uqam.ca, 15,000 Ring-billed gulls near Montreal have been marked with US Geological Survey bands since 2009. The blue or yellow plastic bands have three alphanumeric codes. The program expanded in 2013 when researchers from M.I.T. and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation started using blue and red plastic bands. The expanded program has tagged approximately 700 birds.

Anyone who sees one of these birds is encouraged to report it to UQÀM by visiting goeland.uqam.ca.

This story appears in the Sept. 16, 2022 print edition of the OC Today.

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