When do you stop seeing seagulls at the dump?
August 6, 2009 10:41 AM   Subscribe

In North America, how far inland do you have to be before you stop finding seagulls at garbage dumps?
posted by Mayor Curley to Pets & Animals (36 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The term "sea"gull is a bit of a misnomer. There are many gulls that live their entire lives inland - on lakes, rivers, garbage dumps, etc - that never see the ocean even once in their lives.
posted by MorningPerson at 10:49 AM on August 6, 2009


Further than Chapel Hill, North Carolina (about a three-hour drive)
posted by amtho at 10:49 AM on August 6, 2009


I live in Illinois. There are gulls all over the place here. I've never noticed them specifically at garbage dumps, but they love mall parking lots where people drop fries and other foodstuffs...
posted by arniec at 10:50 AM on August 6, 2009


We have "seagulls" (these I think) in Minnesota, but that's because they are found near bodies of fresh and salt water alike. By this distribution map, you'd be unlikely to find them in, say...Colorado?

There are other species of gulls in North America, too.
posted by cabingirl at 10:50 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


(that said, I don't visit many garbage dumps)
posted by arniec at 10:50 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Deeper inland than the middle of Tennessee, apparently.
posted by jquinby at 10:51 AM on August 6, 2009


unlikely to find them in, say...Colorado?

Maybe. Maybe not. Here's more.
posted by mhum at 10:54 AM on August 6, 2009


I can confirm that there are seagulls in Minnesota but not Colorado.
posted by kathrineg at 10:55 AM on August 6, 2009


Best answer: Nowhere.

Gulls cover all of North America. The Hering Gull and the Ring-billed Gull, both having the classic white and grey "seagull" feathers, between them cover the continent.
posted by bonehead at 10:55 AM on August 6, 2009


IANAT (I am not a taxonomist), but I have seen what appear to be seagulls in Colorado.
posted by entropy at 10:57 AM on August 6, 2009


We've got 'sea' gulls in some places in Idaho.
posted by nameless.k at 11:00 AM on August 6, 2009


I'm in Pittsburgh, and I see them hanging out in parking lots, especially after it rains.
posted by alynnk at 11:01 AM on August 6, 2009


Best answer: Glaucous gulls can be found in Nebraska, and here are photos of gulls in Colorado. There's a place called Gull Point in Wyoming, and at least one sighting of a California Gull in Wyoming.

In short: I don't think you can get away from them.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:05 AM on August 6, 2009


I was wondering the same thing just this weekend. I was in Burlington, VT, which is 150 miles form the nearest ocean, but Lake Champlain is inhabited by scads of (existentially challenged) seagulls that appeared identical to the variety we have here in Boston. So, my assumption is that "seagull" just became common nomenclature for that kind of bird.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:06 AM on August 6, 2009


(Note: these aren't pictures or stories from gulls at dumps, so they might not apply to your inquiry. Regardless, it seems that bonehead probably solved it. )
posted by filthy light thief at 11:07 AM on August 6, 2009


Fun gull fact: the California gull is Utah's state bird.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on August 6, 2009


Incidently, there are lots of different kinds of Gulls (scroll down to Gulls, Tern, and Skimmers (Laridae)). The Herring and the Ring-billed are just two of the most common and have the colouration most commonly associated with "seagulls".
posted by bonehead at 11:12 AM on August 6, 2009


There were a bunch of gulls that hung out around the parking lot of my high school in Denver, Colorado.
posted by martens at 11:13 AM on August 6, 2009


My goodness, I stand corrected, I certainly never saw them in NE Colorado or Colorado Springs--!
posted by kathrineg at 11:17 AM on August 6, 2009


Not possible- they are seen throughout the continent. (I'm in ND: if they're here, they are everywhere)
posted by Eicats at 11:26 AM on August 6, 2009


Everywhere that I have been in the US has gulls of some sort - including north Texas, New Mexico, Iowa, and Kansas.
posted by strixus at 11:29 AM on August 6, 2009


There's a reason they call 'em dump ducks.
posted by one_bean at 11:31 AM on August 6, 2009


There's a monument to the sea gull in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:31 AM on August 6, 2009


Lots of gulls in Missouri, I personally haven't seen any in Kansas, but I haven't really been looking.
posted by Science! at 11:33 AM on August 6, 2009


kathrineg: "I can confirm that there are seagulls in Minnesota but not Colorado."

Lies.

My windshield nearly got bombed by a gull at Park meadows mall in Littleton, CO just last week. Damn bird.
posted by Gravitus at 11:42 AM on August 6, 2009


Yeah, there are most definitely "sea"-gulls all over Colorado.
Since Monitoring Colorado's Birds (MCB) was initiated in 1998, two species of gulls (Franklin's and California) and three species of terns (Forster's, Interior Least, and Black) have nested in the state.
(source)
posted by rokusan at 1:13 PM on August 6, 2009


Haha, amtho, I was going to say the same thing.
posted by greta simone at 1:30 PM on August 6, 2009


Awesome question!
posted by exhilaration at 1:45 PM on August 6, 2009


Growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia, I never saw a gull. I never visited our city's dump, though. Likewise, I have never seen gulls in Northwest Arkansas or Southwest Missouri. Again, I've never been to the local dump. If they're around these places, then they pretty much stick to the dump and never venture anywhere else.
posted by Atreides at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2009


I haven't been to the geographic center of North America lately - as far inland as you can go, before being on your way out, or so the old joke goes - but I have recently driven within a few dozen miles of it, and I can tell you, unequivocably, that there are gulls here, picking away at discarded food wrappers in parking lots throughout the region.
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:01 PM on August 6, 2009


More than 1/4 mile, is all I can really say from direct dump experience. But I suppose that's already been pretty much demonstrated.
posted by rusty at 2:33 PM on August 6, 2009


Growing up in Upstate South Carolina we never saw gulls unless there had been recent hurricanes to drive them inland. We were roughly 200 miles from the ocean.
posted by MasonDixon at 2:38 PM on August 6, 2009


I have never seen a gull in Columbus, OH, my hometown and place of residence, but they are prevalent in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
posted by Kwine at 6:09 PM on August 6, 2009


Can't say about the dump but there's a bunch that hang out around the Red Lobster in our North Texas town about an eight hour drive from the nearest beach.
posted by tamitang at 9:32 PM on August 6, 2009


There are never any dump ducks at the long closed Girvin Road landfill, a few miles north of where I live, which, I like to think, powers my feeble grid power needs. But they are nearly always thick as thieves, in 4 commonly seen, and 6 total species, at the beach, 3 miles east. I have particularly come to value Laughing Gulls, which "laugh" appreciatively at my worst jokes, shouted into an onshore wind, on beach walks in March, when even my long suffering dog cringes at those terrible punch lines.
posted by paulsc at 10:06 PM on August 6, 2009


There's a reason they call 'em dump ducks.

I like to call them "flying goats".
posted by oneirodynia at 7:52 PM on August 7, 2009


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