Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Common Gull ringing - and other unmentionables!

On Friday afternoon, I accompanied Shane Wolsey on our annual expedition to Big Copeland Island to colour-ring Common Gulls as part of his on going study (see here and here).

The weather was idyllic and we got to work catching large Common Gull chicks in one of the sub-colonies on the island.

Also with us were Ron Price and Aoibheann Canavan, a Behavioural Ecology student who, how do I put this? Let's just say her study is different!

Ron acting as both scribe & chief gull holder!

As part of Aoibheann's work, she is looking at the bacteria present in the "wrong" end of the bird, which required taking swabs from the birds' cloaca. I told you it was different!

It's great to see more people getting involved with studying these fascinating birds.

During our ringing activities we discovered several birds which appeared to have infections in one or both of their feet, which prevented a colour-ring being fitted. The infections ranged from a loss of skin to growths. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any suggestions over the cause.

You can follow Aoibheann on Twitter at @acanavan1

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