Why the heck do we have seagulls in Colorado?


They are rats with wings. They don’t need water to fly over or land on, to survive.

According to a PDF site I can’t seem to link to very well, you have:

Mew Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Slaty-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Laughing Gull, Franklin’s Gull, Little Gull, Ivory Gull, Ross’s Gull, and the Sabine’s Gull in Colorado.

So obviuosly there are many kinds of gull that look like sea gulls but aren’t. Why are they there instead of the coast? From here:

“Sea gulls have long been associated with sea coasts. However, several species have extended their ranges significantly inland, with landfills and agricultural development being the attractions.”

That’s about it.

Someone will be along shortly to tell us how much they dislike the term ‘seagull’.

As ltfire said (in so many words); they are opportunists and can thrive outside of their normal habitat if there are suitable resources available (often human refuse).

I understand that they live off of the landfills, but my question is how did they find us here in the middle of the country? Were they blown off course by a Really Big Wind? I only started seeing gulls here about 5 years ago, but I must admit gull-watching isn’t high on my to-do list.

I can’t answer that question, but I can say this is not a recent phenomenon. The seagull is the state bird of Utah due to rescuing the crops from a cricket epidemic in 1848. I’d assume that, yes, some got blown inland and managed to find an appropriate habitat. Damming for reservoirs in the last century probably helped expand the habitat.

I will occasionally see a stray gull here in Kansas. I’m not sure where the heck they go though. We have a few large lakes in town and I’ve never seen one by one of them but apparently they don’t need water to survive. Whoever said they like to live near landfills - we have a couple small dumps here but nothing that could constitute a “landfill”. Maybe they just got blown off course and stuck around.

“Seagull” is a popular misnomer. They are gulls.

Only four posts later … Mangetout, you should ask TubaDiva to change your handle to ‘Nostradamus’. :slight_smile:

And my answer to the OP: Because even in Colorado, people can access Usenet and web-based message boards.

Thanks, I’ll be here all week!

[Nemo]mine? Mine![/Nemo]

It’s in the dictionary and when the word is commonly used, most people know what is meant by it; that’s good enough for most people, including me.

Sure, a handful of twitchers think it isn’t precise enough, but I think they can be taken about as seriously as the minority of scientists who insist that the term ‘organic’ only has one possible meaning (the one they use).

Gulls (NB: I did not use the misnomer “seagulls” :)) are generally seen along the coasts and near other water, even fresh water, such as large rivers and lakes. Let’s look at them.

Laughing gulls and the lesser black-billed gulls are the only gulls found only along the coasts, unless you include the close relatives of the kittiwake and terns. The black-headed gull, the Iceland gull, and the great black-billed gulls are found along the east coast and along the St. Lawrence River. Franklin’s gull is found on the northern prairie lakes in summers but mostly coastal in winter. The little gull is coastal (east coast), but also in the Great Lakes, inland lakes, and reservoirs. Bonaparte’s gulls is found in northern coniferous forests in the summers but winters on all our coasts and inland waterways. The ring-billed gulls are the most ubiquitous. They inhabit all the coasts, lakes, dumps, fields, and fast-food locations. Herring gulls are almost as universal in the States, being found on all the coasts, dumps, lakes, rivers, and fields.

I see them every so often in Kansas. Since there’s no “sea” anywhere nearby, I usually just refer to them as “land gulls”. :slight_smile: