[CT Birds] Gulls eating flying insects

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Tue Aug 31 12:29:35 EDT 2010

Large Gulls are superb opportunists and the species that breed inland are particularly adept at hawking flying insects. Relevant species in the northeast include Ring-billed Gull, vagrant California Gull, and vagrant Franklin's Gull. Of course as others have noted, Laughing Gull is very adept at this as well. And true to being opportunists, the insect species taken cover a wide spectrum. Flies, beetles, dragonflies, moths, butterflies, cicadas, midges, etc., are taken. As Frank Mantlik pointed out in an earlier post, flying ant swarms are frequently targeted by Ring-billed Gulls and Laughing Gulls, as well as passerines such as Cedar Waxwings and Starlings. Vagrant Franklin's Gulls in the northeast have been observed hawking insects in the parking lots of malls or eateries. In fact I believe one vagrant was discovered while doing this at a McDonalds. That raises another point, if you see a lone Laughing Gull hawking insects at an inland location, take a close look and make sure it is indeed a Laughing Gull!


Dave Provencher
Naturally New England<http://naturallynewengland.blogspot.com/>

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