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1 April 2016 Fidelity and Persistence of Ring-Billed (Larus delawarensis) and Herring (Larus argentatus) Gulls to Wintering Sites
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While the breeding ecology of gulls (Laridae) has been well studied, their movements and spatial organization during the non-breeding season is poorly understood. The seasonal movements, winter-site fidelity, and site persistence of Ring-billed (Larus delawarensis) and Herring (L. argentatus) gulls to wintering areas were studied from 2008–2012. Satellite transmitters were deployed on Ring-billed Gulls (n = 21) and Herring Gulls (n = 14). Ten Ring-billed and six Herring gulls were tracked over multiple winters and > 300 wing-tagged Ring-billed Gulls were followed to determine winter-site fidelity and persistence. Home range overlap for individuals between years ranged between 0–1.0 (95% minimum convex polygon) and 0.31–0.79 (kernel utilization distributions). Ringbilled and Herring gulls remained at local wintering sites during the non-breeding season from 20–167 days and 74–161 days, respectively. The probability of a tagged Ring-billed Gull returning to the same site in subsequent winters was high; conversely, there was a low probability of a Ring-billed Gull returning to a different site. Ring-billed and Herring gulls exhibited high winter-site fidelity, but exhibited variable site persistence during the winter season, leading to a high probability of encountering the same individuals in subsequent winters.

Daniel E. Clark, Kiana K. G. Koenen, Jillian J. Whitney, Kenneth G. MacKenzie, and Stephen DeStefano "Fidelity and Persistence of Ring-Billed (Larus delawarensis) and Herring (Larus argentatus) Gulls to Wintering Sites," Waterbirds 39(sp1), 220-234, (1 April 2016).
Received: 5 June 2014; Accepted: 1 August 2015; Published: 1 April 2016

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