Friday, 16 November 2012

And so it begins....

It's official, the Northern Ireland Black-headed Gull colour-ringing project has begun!

After speaking to Bob Harris at the BTO NI Birdwatchers' Conference last weekend, who told me about a fairly simple way of catching Black-headed Gulls for ringing using a box and some string, Kevin and I headed out this week with the first prototype of our trap.

Unfortunately the birds were extremely wary (rightly so!) and none were tempted by the delicacies inside - Asda own-brand white pan loaf.

After a while sitting around and keeping the birds interested by throwing small pieces of bread out the window, I tried catching a bird by hand from the car window.


Two fine looking adult males were caught and subsequently ringed as 2AAA and 2ADJ.

Hopefully they are the first of many....


  1. Looking forward to reading more of your exploits. Regards.

  2. Good Morning
    I am really interested in your project up there, as we are trying a similar scheme in Guernsey,Channel Islands. We have a fantastic trap for the larger gulls,( google search Paul Veron ) and have a small 3 meter trap for the BHG's
    I have been feeding one of our bays for our first week and we have 50 plus birds there but the larger gulls come in first, and the BHG only when I'm well away......

  3. Hi Boyalec, sorry I've just noticed these comments.

    Thanks for getting in touch and I'm really pleased to hear someone other than me is interested in the project! I've been in touch with Paul and I think the trap Bob told me about is similar to the one you guys use on Guernsey.

    Managed a few more birds this afternoon, taking me up to five's a start.