The gulls eye project

Gull behaviour mapping

4.4K Entries

Last on:
21 Jul 2023

We invite you to submit observations of gull behaviour. The project run for 3 years, until October 2023.

To join in, download the Epicollect5 App from the Play store/App store.

Click +Add Project and search for The Gulls Eye Project.

Then to make a sighting, click +Add entry.

Recording a sighting takes about 1 minute. You can record the absence of gulls, gulls in flight and on roof tops. When you see a gull or group of gulls (any species) on the ground or water, note their behaviour (e.g. preening, vocalizing) and proximity to people. If relatively close already, the next questions will ask you to see if you can walk past at 4 meters distance, and if so, about their response to eye contact.

Please do not approach roosting or nesting birds. Please do not lure the gull with food as we are interested in their current behaviour - not their response to a new feeding opportunity.

The project is run by Dr Katherine Herborn and Dr Alex Wilson at the University of Plymouth, and Dr Ruedi Nager at the University of Glasgow. We aim to find out whether behaviour and response to human interactions can indicate the gull’s perception of their environment. We will test this in two ways. First, we will see if the App data shows different patterns of behaviour in contexts that would be naturally risky for gulls. And second, we will run a parallel study using established (non-invasive) methods to measure gull risk sensitivity in the areas of sightings. If these correlate, you will have helped us develop a new method to monitor environments from the gull's own perspective. This will enable us to use citizen science to explore largescale spatial and temporal patterns, which may help to understand regional population declines.

Thank you!

Any questions or concerns, please contact Dr Katherine Herborn, ( If you feel that the problem has not been resolved please contact the secretary to
the Faculty of Science and Engineering on

Note that you can withdraw from making a sighting by clicking 'quit'. Sightings are anonymous and no personally identifiable data is collected. Data will be used in research and public outreach.

Participation in this survey requires the use of the Epicollect5 App, which available free from the Google Play Store, the Apple Store or from its own website: The University of Plymouth does not accept any responsibility for your use or misuse of this App, or in the unlikely event that it causes damage to your device, your software or data. All data supplied to the University of Plymouth from the app which is obtained from this survey is anonymised, and no personal data of yours will be obtained or processed by the University. Please ensure that you obey the current COVID-19 restrictions in force at all times. Please take all reasonable precautions for your safety and that of others when engaging in any outdoor activity.