In April 2011, I once again arrived on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to start another season of seabird research working with PRBO Conservation Science. In my seventh and perhaps last season, I decided to start a photo a day challenge for myself. The challenge is to share a new and interesting photo for each day I am on the island this year.
Gull resighting is one of our primary activities this time of year. This involves going into the colony, looking for banded gulls, and reading their band number with our binoculars. Easier said than done. Gulls have a particular habit of always keeping the same side of their band towards you. As you circle around them to read the other digits, they turn with you so that you always see the same numbers you've already read. My favorite method of getting the necessary digits is to look away, pretend that I'm looking at another bird, then suddenly turn back taking the original bird by surprise. Before it has a chance to hide it's band number I've got it. I swear it works. We keep track of banded birds in the plots by painting white stakes with their recruit numbers. The stakes here are for two banded birds, 0305 and 9907, that are a happily bonded pair. This is me trying to trick 9907 into showing me it's band.