Colour Ringing Projects on Gulls in the Bailiwick of Guernsey

I am currently carrying out research on three species of gulls in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Channel Islands using colour ringing. The Bailiwick consists of the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark (including Brecqhou), Herm, Jethou and associated small islets. All three projects are gathering data to help assess the movements and mortality of the three gull species which currently breed in the Bailiwick, namely Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus graellsii) and Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus).

Solid waste disposal on Guernsey (and Alderney) currently involves landfill of waste at the only landfill site in the Bailiwick, which is located on the north coast of Guernsey (at Mont Cuet quarry). However, this is set to change in the years ahead with the introduction of waste treatment before some other process, thus very much reducing the amount of residual waste which has to be landfilled. This will very significantly decrease the amount of food which is readily available to gulls in the Bailiwick. I  am gathering data in advance of this development in waste disposal methods to assess the effects of the change in waste disposal practice on the populations of gulls in the Bailiwick.

The three colour-ringing projects are as follows:-

Herring Gull

White rings with black code n.xxn (where n = number and x = the same letter - e.g. 1.AA2)…normally placed on the right tarsus. The dot is a check character. It can be located high, low or mid-height on the ring. All birds also carry a metal ring (from the Jersey Museum) – usually on the left tarsus.

This scheme is a continuation of the scheme run from 1997-2007 by Jamie Hooper, which was again a white ring with blue code nxn.


Lesser Black-backed Gull

White rings with black code and (from 2009) Black rings with white code– usually placed on the right tarsus. There is a metal ring on the left tarsus (Jersey Museum).

The codes are n.xn (where n = number and x = letter. Again the dot is a check character, which can be located in a low, medium or high position on the ring.


Great Black-backed Gull

Yellow rings with black code –placed on the right tarsus, with a metal ring (Jersey Museum) on the left tarsus. The code is nxn (where n = number and x = letter).


If you see any of these gulls please report them to me at   I will reply with a life history of the bird.

Thank you.

Paul K Veron

Channel Islands Bird Ringing Permit Number 129

6th February 2009

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