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The Call of the Gull

As we ponder the wonders of bird sounds, how many of us think of gulls? Are gulls underrated as singers? We may be more inclined to prize gulls for their ability to catch French fries in mid-air along the waterfront. But they are actually quite accomplished vocalists. The Glaucous-winged Gull's "long call" is just one of this gull's 11 distinct calls. Throughout the spring and summer, Glaucous-winged Gull pairs bow as they greet each other with this call. There's more about this gull on BirdWeb.

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BirdNote®

The Call of the Gull

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote!
Bird voices come in many varieties and textures. Owls hoot [Barred Owl hooting], ravens croak [Common Raven croak], and meadowlarks sing sublimely [Western Meadowlark song].
But as we ponder the wonders of bird sounds, how many of us think of gulls? [Glaucous-winged Gull shorter calls].
Are gulls underrated as singers? While we may be more inclined to prize gulls for their ability to catch French fries in mid-air along the waterfront, they are actually quite accomplished vocalists.
Listen to a Glaucous-winged Gull, as it offers what is known as its “long call”: [Glaucous-winged Gull long call].
The long call is just one of this gull’s 11 distinct calls. Throughout the spring and summer – during the day and sometimes well into the night – Glaucous-winged Gull pairs bow as they greet each other with this call. [Glaucous-winged Gull long call] This large and common gull nests on flat-roofed buildings along Puget Sound, where its voice is an integral part of the waterfront. [Glaucous-winged Gull long call]
In Eastern Washington, look and listen for similar behavior among Ring-
billed Gulls.
A gull’s voice is so distinctive, it even inspires human imitators…. like the distinguished pianist Lisa Bergman. [Lisa Bergman doing her gull imitation]
Why not let your hair down and give it a try sometime! At birdnote.org, I’m Frank Corrado.
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Barred Owl recorded by G.A. Keller. Common Raven recorded by R.S. Little. Western Meadowlark recorded by W.R. Fish. Glaucous-winged Gulls recorded by G. M. Bell.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2009 Tune In to Nature.org  Revised for May 2009

ID# 051206gullKPLU

 

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