Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sable Island Gulls

Rob Ronconi is a researcher at Acadia University working with Dr. Phil Taylor on a new project studying the movements and migrations of gulls from Sable Island, Nova Scotia. In June 2011 Herring Gulls were banded with pink alpha-numeric bands as well as pink wing-tags which are quite obvious in flight or on land. Great Black-backed Gull chicks were banded with green alpha-numeric bands.

Reports of these birds throughout the year will greatly enhance the success of this project to document the movements and migrations of gulls from this far offshore colony.

Herring gull juvenile begging from an adult
at the North Head wharf on Grand Manan
 Please visit Rob's blog where you can learn more about the project and find links on how to report marked birds that you've spotted. He will be posting photos and stories of re-sighted birds on this blog, so sign up for e-mail updates.

Please contact Rob if you see these or other marked gulls over the fall and winter.

Rob Ronconi, rronconi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Dept. of Biology, Acadia University

Monday, August 8, 2011

New England Aquarium Surveys Bay

The new England Aquarium right whale research team were able to survey the Grand Manan Basin on Thursday, August 4.  With two boats they were able to cover a good portion of the Basin and surrounding waters and found seven right whales including two mothers with their calves.

Sperm whale tail

Humpback whale tail (Sunburst)

Right whale tails.  (White marked tail is the injured tail of Slash)
They also had a hydrophone in the water at one point and heard sperm whales, although the whales were not seen.  This would be the second year in a row that sperm whales are in the Bay of Fundy.  We are not sure what this means but last year when the sperm whales were present from late July to the middle of October, few right whales were seen.  Continued surveys will reveal what this summer will bring us.