[CT Birds] sea gulls

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Wed Oct 23 16:06:27 EDT 2013


I haven't seen any other replies to this, so here goes ... 

First off, this family of birds is actually just called "gulls". The reason is actually part of your answer. Gulls can and do spend considerable time away from the shoreline regardless of weather. Here in CT the three most common species nest on islands in the Sound or out at sea, thus in summer numbers of any species are not to be seen inland. However, as soon as the nesting cycle is complete then they will find their way inland, not unlike the shoreline-nesting Great Egrets and Ospreys. Here in Hartford County it is a sure sign of the coming change of seasons when I see the first Ring-billed Gulls returning to New Britain Stadium in late July. Hartford Audubon conducts an annual spring census that starts on the last Saturday of April. It is uncanny how gulls have in the past few years vacated their usual spots here in Canton in the days just prior to the start of the census. Gulls do congregate inland in sometimes massive numbers in the colder weather. Roosts of a couple thousand individuals are not uncommon on Wethersfield Cove and West Hartford Reservoir 6, and a smaller roost usually can be found at Nepaug Reservoir in western Hartford County as well. The Windsor/Bloomfield landfill has been a magnet for less common species throughout the winter in recent years. In short, they'll go anywhere there is food. I've found that strip malls and river shorelines can be good locations for adding Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls to my town lists, even those well inland. I have recorded both of those species in every town in Hartford County. Great Black-backed Gulls are less common but also wander inland quite regularly. 

Not that you asked, but there are a couple of species in North America that don't even breed on the shore. Bonaparte's Gulls nest in conifers well to our north and west. That must be odd to see. Franklin's Gulls nest on the prairie. 

It's not impossible that there are localized movements in response to the coming of storms but the general answer is it's not at all unusual to see them inland away from the breeding season. 

Jamie Meyers 
Canton, CT 

----- Original Message -----

From: "mary mushinsky" <marymushinsky at att.net> 
To: "craig minor" <minor.craig at sbcglobal.net>, ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org 
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:26:00 PM 
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] sea gulls 

I have observed large flocks inland when there is a storm brewing. They carpet the playing fields in Wallingford. We are 15 miles inland. Normally we do not see such large numbers resting on the playing fields. Mary Mushinsky, Wallingford 


________________________________ 
From: craig minor <minor.craig at sbcglobal.net> 
To: "ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:48 AM 
Subject: [CT Birds] sea gulls 


I have a question about sea gulls , is it an old wives tail that when you see sea gulls inland there is a storm brewing near the shore ? I was always told this as a kid. or is it just in a sea gulls nature to be 50 plus miles inland ? 
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