Oh dear, no seagulls? I’m having a Santa Claus moment.
It sounds like poisoning-of-some-sort is my best bet. (The last time they let me borrow the death ray, it didn’t end well).
Another question: What about pelicans? I know they can be found inland as well, but I think they’d be sufficiently-unusual in this particular setting. Anyway, I seem to hear a lot about them dying in large numbers, so it seems promising. If they ended up in the middle of farm country (far from any lakes or ponds), would it be likely for them to die of malnutrition?
Well, in Kansas, at Cheyenne Bottoms (In Barton County, the center of the state) you can find more than one kind of seabird. Of course, Cheyenne Bottoms is a wetlands of international importance too, and birds from all over the world can be seen there, it’s a stopover during migrations.
Sure, and as I said, ‘organic’ means something distinct to people who know chemistry. That doesn’t mean the word has just the one meaning, or that the experts in a field that happens to use a specific definition of it are appointed to police their usage.
It’s not ignorance, it’s just people using a colloquial term. (in this case, one that’s been established for centuries). You’re not fighting ignorance, you’re fighting the dictionary.
We have california gulls (very common, especially in large parking lots) and curlew sandpipers (less common) here in Havre, Montana, which is as landlocked as you could imagine. (Yes, Havre means ‘Harbor’ in French. One of the grandmothers of a founder was from Le Havre, France. Does’t really mean anything, and it certainly isn’t pronounced that way. (Or that way, either.))
Many species of gulls and terns nest inland. In particular, Franklin’s Gulls nest on lakes, ponds and marshes in the Great Plains.
You are correct that it is a common colloquial name for the group of birds, but Fact of the Matter is also correct that it is a misnomer. Many people call Turkey Vultures “buzzards,” so that can be considered an actual name for the bird; but Turkey Vultures have nothing to do with the true buzzards of the genus Buteo. So it’s a name, but not an accurate name.
Many species have always occurred inland. However, Herring Gulls and other species have greatly increased in population in some areas due to the availability of food in landfills, etc., and this may be the reason you are seeing more now.
Most species of pelicans actually nest inland on freshwater or saline lakes, including the American White Pelican, although they often winter on coasts. The only really marine species is the Brown Pelican.
This may be due to things like red tides (toxic algae) or disease. Pelicans may also sometimes starve due to climatic factors such as El Nino events, which affect their food supply.
Such is the nature of colloquial terms, indeed, such is the nature of language. Yes, it’s not a technically accurate term (but then, it isn’t even meant to be), but it’s hardly alone in that, and it’s so well established (the online etymology site dates it to 1542. It’s a little late to be fighting over whether it’s a word we can rightly use.
I mean, where are the folks campaigning to call Malaria by its proper name? - that one has only been around since the 1730s - the disease isn’t really caused by bad air.
I do understand your point. My point was that Fact of the Matter is also correct in that the name is a misnomer, and misleading (since it obviously has mislead the OP and others). Sure, people are free to call gulls seagulls, and Turkey Vultures buzzards; but if you *do * want to be precise, and have your meaning clearly understood, the former terms are preferred (though not mandatory).
Don’t even get me started on moose, elk, and wapiti, or on monkeys and apes.