What could kill off fictional inland seagulls?

I’m wondering what could explain some-number-of seagulls ending up pretty far inland (in the summer, at the time of a drought). How far inland would be Decidedly Unusual but not impossible? Is there a time-of-year/set-of-weather-conditions when this would be most likely?

Also, what could kill them off (preferably without targeting other birds)? Is there anything that could account for both them straying and dying off? (Um . . . wandering bird sickness?) It doesn’t have to be many birds, just enough to be noticeable.

(This would probably be more credible if I pretended it actually happened, but it’s strictly for Research Purposes)

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Fictional 1920s style death rays?

I don’t think there is anything especially lethal (to a gull) about increasing distance to the sea which would kill them. Hence, I don’t think that there’s a sort of inland distance beyond which it is impossible to find gulls. These birds are happy to live off of human garbage, so the average landfill will do just fine. They breed on solid ground, preferably rocks, which they will also find inland. And although seagulls are able to drink salt water, I don’t think it’s dangerous to them to drink fresh water. Admittedly, their usual habitat is the sea, but I don’t think why your occasional gull that got strayed should not be able to survive.

As for what could cause a die-off, perhaps heavy metal poisoning or natural toxins such as red tide from eating affected crustaceans and shellfish.

Seagulls exist inland - hell, it’s the state bird of Utah, about as landlocked a state as there it.

Seconding the attraction of sea gulls to landfills. If there are a string of landfills and small water bodies (ponds, streams), then they can get fairly far inland. Also, if we’re talking hypotheticals, they could eat something in a landfill that would kill them. It wouldn’t affect most of the other birds in the area, but might affect crows, who also like to lunch at landfills, although the gulls can force them to the edges so the might miss a specific fatal feast.

The Utah thing was considered to be a miracle. I don’t think they usually get that far inland, or at least they didn’t in pre-landfill days.

Well they weren’t inland much but when I lived in Vancouver there were reports of seagulls falling dead from the sky. It turned out that one of the chocolate factories (Purdy’s?) had disposed of a bunch of chocolate in a landfill and the gulls had been feasting upon it.

My Google-fu failed me when looking for any articles. This would have been 7 or so years ago I believe. Please tell me I didn’t imagine this.

Massive flocks of fictional inland seagulls can be killed by editors. :smack:

No cite, but I heard that Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierras near Nevada is one of the largest seagull rookeries around. It’s probably 200 miles from the ocean as the seagull flies In LA, they are starting a program of birth control for pigeons by lacing pigeon food with a chemical that prevents proper egg development. Perhaps you could dump a bunch of birth control laden McDonald’s french fries near the seagulls.

No idea how to kill them, but at 5380 feet elevation and over a thousand miles to the nearest coast, seagulls are everywhere around here. McDonald’s parking lots are a favorite haunt. I suggest that obesity and heart disease may be significant contributers to seagull mortality.

My understanding is seagull is a misnomer.


That sort of thing happens often when you ask an expert - ask a chemist what ‘organic’ means, for example - but that doesn’t mean the definition they give you is universal. If people say seagulls when they mean ‘gulls’, then they’re called ‘seagulls’ - regardless of where they happen to live. Whatever lots of people call something, that’s what it’s called.

Seagulls live here in Middle Tennessee. As was said upthread, they love the landfills!

Thank you, that’s what I came here to say. There is no such thing as a “Seagulls”, just “Gulls”, some of whom live near the sea.

Also known as seagulls, and have been for hundreds of years.

I understand what you are saying. I still call them seagulls. I was just pointing out that the name is misleading. I think you can find seagulls in all 50 states(no cite).

As for the OP, not sure what you can have kill them off in noticable numbers. Some type of avian virus specific to them perhaps?

Sure. lots of names are misleading if you try to take them literally. Sparrowhawks don’t just eat sparrows, for example.

DDT? :stuck_out_tongue:

If they lived near a bay, would they be “baygulls”?

Not by people who know birds. :slight_smile: From my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America:

There is no species or family known as a seagull. Many are commonly called that, but we’re here to fight ignorance. I know, it’s a lost battle, but I also correct people who say all evergreens are “pine trees”.