an Icelandic colour ringing project on

Lesser Black-backed Gulls

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In 1996 a colour ringing project on Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus graellsii started in Iceland. The rings were pale blue with black digits (Y + 3 numbers) and were provided by Norman van Swelm in the Netherlands. Straight from the beginning Hallgrímur Gunnarsson and Ólafur Torfason took lead in ringing the birds and they have been active in the project ever since. In 2001 Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson joined the team and up to date these three ringers have ringed all but 4 birds in this project.

At first the project was coordinated by Arnor Sigfusson that did so until around 2004 when Ævar Petersen took over (please send resightings to In summer 2007 we started another colour ringing project on this species in Iceland. Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson will coordinate the new project to be able to answer all resightings right away. The rings in this new project are dark blue with white digits (Y + letter + number + number). These rings were also provided by Norman van Swelm.


The main aims of the study are :

1) to map the migration routes and the non-breeding distribution

2) to study site fidelity to breeding-, migration- and wintering areas

3) to look for spatial segregation according to sex and age

4) to investigate the movements between colonies in Iceland


We encourage all those who have any information of colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls

from this project (dark blue rings) to send them to:

Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson

Mail Address:
Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson
Institute of Biology (ASKJA)
University of Iceland
Sturlugata 7
101 Reykjavík