Posted by: atowhee | August 5, 2021

GULL 101

A college classmate and his family have lived near the coast down by San Diego for over forty years. Just recently he has noticed gulls hanging out in his neighborhood for the first time. “Why?” he asked.

Here is my supposition after years of being gulled into wonder by watching these social and aggressive birds make their living. They put Wall Street hustlers in the shadows. Unable to fly are we–gulls must fund us most gullible of all the large predators.

They are notorious at finding new food sources…likely somebody nearby feeds a cat or dog outside…they can literally smell food from a distance…in San Francisco they cruised the elementary school playgrounds on school days, lunchtime especially…in many cities now the local gulls steal food from pedestrians’ hands…in your area it is most likely pet food unless somebody has chickens…I  can’t imagine your neighbors dumping garbage outside unless there is a careless composter nearby…I have seen them in dumpsters outsided cafes if the top is open…in McMInnville we had adult Bald Eagle who would clean out the dumpster next to a popular parking lot bar-b-que vendor…they [gulls] are not there to warm their feet or preen…they are there for some easy food source…do you have crows as well?  that would be competition…out in Livermore you can always find magpies at the one-acre farmettes where goats and dogs are fed outside. There are some gulls who only go to the coast outside breeding season…up here we have Ring-billed, Franklin’s and California Gull–they’re are all inland species…at Salt Lake and Lake Michigan it is Herring Gulls…along the Seine it is the little Black-headed Gull usually…we didn’t have gulls in Missouri, of course…down there you have Western and the handsome Heermann’s that shadows the Brown Pelicans wherever they fish.
“I love gulls, very hard to learn to tell them apart and the four-year gulls (Western, etc.) go through more than 15 plumage changes as they age and molt.”

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