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Rambunctious Research

Erik Hoffner | New York, United States

Seabird egg at Great Gull Island.

"Rambunctious Research" is a photo essay from Great Gull Island biological research station that originally appeared in Sierra magazine ~ this tiny isle in the Atlantic Ocean is home to the world's largest breeding colony of two species of endangered seabirds, and the effort to study the birds here is also the most comprehensive in the world. Numerous amazing discoveries have been made here to date.

Each week in the spring and summer, volunteers ("citizen scientists") arrive on a fishing boat from a village on the East Coast, to stand among 10,000+ pairs of jeering, dive-bombing terns. All day and night the birds carry on as they seek mates and defend nests, creating an incredible, rambunctious garden of sorts.

The volunteers help the researchers count eggs and chicks, band birds, and keep this epic research project going year after year, ever since 1966.

Great Gull Island Project, in affiliation with the American Museum of Natural History:


Great Gull Island Project

American Museum of Natural History


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