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Request for sightings of wing-tagged Mongolian Gulls: by Andreas Buchheim

Mongolian Gull
(Larus [vegae] mongolicus)
(Photo by Andreas Buchheim)
(Photo by Andreas Buchheim)

In 2004, 2005 and 2006 a team of ornithologists from Germany ringed and wing-tagged a total of 500 Mongolian Gulls Larus [vegae] mongolicus in north-eastern and northern Mongolia. Rings were issued by the German "Helgoland Ringing Centre" and placed on each bird's right tibia.To make specific and individual recognition easy, all birds were fitted with white wing-tags which can be read from distances up to 300 metres with a spotting 'scope. Birders observing large white-headed gulls along Asian coasts might encounter such birds in any congregation of gulls (check the area between the front scapulars and the wing-bend).

The wing-tags show an individual black four-character code, with the upper row consisting of two capital letters and the lower row of a two-digit number. This project involving tracking individuals of known origin will help determine whether the identification criteria for this species have to be modified and will help us find out more about individual strategies in both breeding and wintering over extended periods. If you come across one of these gulls please record all relevant details including date, site name, geographical coordinates, code on wing-tag, number of other gulls present, etc.

Please send the information and a photograph if possible to my e-mail: You will receive all relevant data on your bird in return.


One of these Mongolian Gulls was found in South Korea in February 2006.

Information kindly supplied by Andreas Buchheim, 26th August 2006.
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