Transactions
of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station
Branta Cover Language of the article: Ukrainian Cite: Dubinina, Y. Y., Koshelev, V. O., Koshelev, O. I. (2016). Spatial distribution of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans) based on ringing results in the north-western part of the Azov Sea region. Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 19, 81-98 Keywords: Yellow-legged Gull, ringing, colony, breeding area, post-breeding movements, seasonal migrations Views: 649 Branta copyright Branta license

Branta Issues > Issue №19 (2016)

Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 81-98

Spatial distribution of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans) based on ringing results in the north-western part of the Azov Sea region

Y. Y. Dubinina, V. O. Koshelev, O. I. Koshelev

Based on long-term ringing results (1988-2012) the territorial links of the Yellow-legged Gull from breeding colonies of the north-western part of the Azov Sea region (Pryazovia) were considered. Spatial distribution of gulls between seasons was analyzed for each age group (young, immature, and adult birds). Direction and distance of dispersal flights was found out, and different types of migrations were distinguished (inland, within Ukraine, within the breeding area). Long-term breeding colonies of Yellow-legged Gulls in the north-western part of the Azov Sea region are characterized by a high degree of conservatism in adult birds, wide range of post-breeding movements and dispersal of young birds, formation of new temporary colonies at the expense of young individuals of the species. The exchange of individuals between neighbouring colonies in different water bodies and between colonies within the region was recorded as well as the use of rubbish dumps to feed throughout the year. Yellow-legged Gulls, born in the north-western part of the Azov Sea region, during their post-breeding movements in recent years tend to choose the Dnieper channel and floodplain where they concentrate near settlements and industrial objects. On the one part, it supports a settled life of the local population, since most birds do not leave boundaries of their breeding area, on the other – the species dispersal in the meridional direction into inland part of Ukraine is going on. During spring migrations, Yellow-legged Gulls, born in the north-western part of the Azov Sea region, were recorded not only in the region but also in the countries of Western Europe, more than 1000 km away from their natal area. For gulls of various ages the average registered distance from their colonies in the spring season is 1,032.6 km (lim 110 - 1900). Having arrived to their breeding colonies in March-May, adult seagulls stay within the breeding area with a dispersal flight radius of about 30 km. In June-July, the young and immature gulls which just started to fly also stay close to their breeding areas; an average dispersal radius for birds of different ages made up 130.1 km (lim 7.5 - 1900). In the July-August post-breeding season, according to the geography of rings recoveries, the average dispersal distance of gulls of different ages increases to 416.2 km (lim 7.5 - 2025). In autumn, birds are in no hurry to leave their breeding area. In September-October, birds of all age groups are observed at a distance of up to 283.6 km (lim 7.5 - 2025) from their natal areas. They wander along the coast, mainly in the southwest and western direction, are numerous at rubbish dumps and agricultural areas. In autumn, some young gulls reach Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Hungary. In winter, the average range of their dispersal flights increases to 849.7 km (lim 7.5 - 2172). Birds are widely distributed along the Black Sea coast of Ukraine, flying into Eastern Europe, where municipal rubbish dumps have become important wintering places for gulls in Poland and Germany.

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