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Franklin's Gull

Sometimes a "Seagull," Sometimes Not!

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.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
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] The 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]
Writers for BirdNote include Dennis Paulson, Ellen Blackstone, Todd Peterson, Frances Wood, and Bob Sundstrom. Our producer is John Kessler and our executive producer is Chris Peterson. Today’s show brought to you by the Lufkin Family Foundation. For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
                                        ###
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
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org     February 2014   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# SotB-FRGU-01-2012-02-09

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