Gulls are often called "seagulls," but many spend a lot of time far away from the sea. The Franklin's Gull breeds in freshwater wetlands more than 5,000 miles from its winter home at the ocean. After the breeding season, they ascend high in the sky for their long flight across the Equator to the coasts of Peru and Chile. Now deserving the name "seagull," the Franklin's Gulls roost on the beach and dive for anchovies in the cold Humboldt Current. Habitats of the world are connected by the birds that go between them. Learn more at StateOfTheBirds.org.
Franklin’s Gull, The Half-time Seagull
Written by Dennis Paulson
This is BirdNote.
[Franklin’s Gull calls]
Gulls are often called “seagulls,” but many of them are not. Or at least they spend a lot of time far away from the sea. The Franklin’s Gull is such a bird. It breeds in freshwater wetlands over 5,000 miles from its winter home at the ocean. [Franklin’s Gull calls]
These striking black-headed, pink-breasted, small gulls breed in colonies on lakes all across inland North America. [wetland species] When breeding, these birds feed in flocks on nearby prairies, taking earthworms, grubs, and grasshoppers. But after the breeding season, these same flocks ascend high in the sky for their long flight across the Equator to the coasts of Peru and Chile. Now deserving the name “seagull,” they roost on the beach and dive for anchovies in the cold Humboldt Current. [Franklin’s Gull calls mixed with sounds of waves]
You would never know the Franklin’s Gulls — behind a fishing boat off Peru — were the same birds that just a few months earlier were following a tractor in Manitoba, but they are. [tractor] Again and again, we see that the habitats of the world are connected by the birds that go between them. [Franklin’s Gull calls]
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Support for BirdNote comes from Seattle’s Portage Bay Café & catering. Serving local, organic food as part of their commitment to the environment. Info at portagebaycafé.com.
Calls of Franklin’s Gulls provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. 3378 recorded by R.S. Little; 103926 recorded by G.F. Budney; wetland ambient recorded by G.F. Budney.
Tractor Nov G10 T 2 recorded by C. Peterson
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org February 2014/2018/2020/2022 Narrator: Mary McCann