Great Gull Island Field Project

Roseate Terns in front of a line of nest boxes on the western end of Great Gull Island by Melinda Billings
Roseate Terns in front of a line of nest boxes on the western end of
Great Gull Island © Melinda Billings
Two Common Terns dispalying at Great Gull Island by Melinda Billings
Two Common Terns displaying at Great Gull Island
© Melinda Billings

Ongoing Study of Tern Behavior at Great Gull Island (GGI)

The director of the project is Helen Hays, who has been managing the island since 1969. Joe DiCostanzo is responsible for running the database detailing the family history, hatching records, and locations of nests.

The Great Gull Island Project needs volunteers to help monitor and protect the terns on GGI. Volunteers are needed on the island from May to August each summer. Volunteers also help with the processing of data in the project office at the American Museum of Natural History the rest of the year.

  • To volunteer for field research on Common and Roseate Terns — Contact Helen Hays
  • New field work projects and updates will be announced in The Linnaean Society of New York’s News-Letter
  • See the Great Gull Island website for more information about the project and additional contact information

Helen Hays received an honorary doctorate from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, in 2015. She is also the recipient of the Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award for her work on the Great Gull Island Project, the Conservation Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Audubon Society, and the President’s Volunteer Action Award.

News

Helen Hays Receives Environmental Champion Award — 5/13/2016

On Friday May 13, 2016, Helen Hays was honored by the US EPA (Region 2) with a 2016 Environmental Champion Award.

 

The Trans-Atlantic Terns of Great Gull Island — 5/11/2016


Helen Hays, of New York’s American Museum of Natural History,
director of the Great Gull Island Project,
by Michelle Kinsey Bruns (Wikimedia Commons).

Article in Bird Watching on The trans-Atlantic terns of Great Gull Island. "...The island is also the home of a famous long-term research project overseen since 1969 by researcher Helen Hays, of the American Museum of Natural History, in New York...."

 

Helen Hays recognized by UConn for 45 yrs leading Great Gull Island Project

On May 10, 2015, the University of Connecticut awarded Helen Hays an honorary degree and selected her as the 2015 College of Liberal Arts commencement speaker. The event took place in Storrs CT and these awards recognize Helen’s notable achievements as an ornithologist and her remarkable 45 years as the director of the Great Gull Island Project.

 

FEMA Commits Funds for Dock Repair

FEMA has committed funds to AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) to repair the Great Gull Island Dock.


Helen Hays and AMNH new ornithology department curator Brian Smith on Great Gull Island
© Dawn Fletcher

Their hats represent the height of field chic on the island.

Great Gull Island for the Birds

An article about Helen: “Great Gull Island for the birds” in The Day, Connecticut, July, 27, 2014 by Judy Benson and Sean D. Elliot.


Great Gull Island Headquarters © Megan Gavin