Aug 28, 2022

Bellingham WA: Gulls just want to have fun

Yesterday I learned that Cornwall Avenue at sea level has so far this year lost at least two of its gull youngsters due to being run over by motorists.

July 26, 2022 Cornwall Avenue 

Gulls can walk a day or two after hatching but they don't fly for several weeks. Nesting ideally would take place on level rocks or grassy areas but in the case of the former Whatcom Creek estuary, industrial rooftops took over the space. Asphalt, contaminants and litter interfere with natural food sourcing and safe habitat. Then there are speeding cars and even purposely cruel motorists who drive into birds. 

Cornwall Avenue at sea level is a
poorly-maintained, dangerous area

Some people like to feed bread to gulls, geese, and ducks. Bread is not at all nutritious for birds and if it gets caught in their crop it can kill them.

Crows and gulls are often referred to as "trash birds" which is obviously a misnomer. They are highly intelligent and their food choices by nature are broad but do not include plastic, string, grease, salt, and spices. 

Baby gulls are gray and do not completely change into adult colors for about three years. The voice of baby gulls is distinctive as can be heard in a 26-second view of baby gulls and their parent at Shell Beach I recorded this time three years ago:

The bottom line is that all creatures large and small want to survive, enjoy life, and ensure the health and safety of their offspring. Some are clever, seriously romantic, possess a range of enviable qualities and talents, and have distinct personalities. All except humans contribute to functioning ecosystems. 

The predominant species in the region is the Glaucous-winged gull. A helpful website is Cornell University's All About Birds.

Interesting fact: "The oldest recorded Glaucous-winged Gull was at least 23 years, 10 months old. It was banded in British Columbia in 1977 and found in Washington in 2001." 

Glass Beach, Port of Bellingham