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The Gulls of Summer

Who's on your beach?

Gull-watching is pretty tame along the coasts most of the summer. Many gull species retreat north to nest; a few others nest inland. Along the Atlantic, it’s mostly nesting Herring and Laughing Gulls that stick around through summer. On the Pacific Coast, it’s Glaucous-winged and Western. But by late August, Bonaparte’s Gulls begin arriving along both coasts and at the Great Lakes. Handsome, pale gray Ring-billed Gulls also return to both coasts in late summer. And along the Pacific, the Heermann’s Gull – unmistakable with its blood-red beak – has come just for a summer visit.

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Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Gulls of Summer

Written by Frances Wood
Revised by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!
[Calls of Glaucous-winged Gulls]
If you visit the beach as summer wanes, you may notice that gulls with different appearances are showing up.
Gull-watching is pretty tame along the coasts most of the summer. Many gull species retreat well north to nest, a few others inland. Along the Atlantic, it’s mostly nesting Herring and Laughing Gulls that stick around through summer. On the Pacific coast, it’s Glaucous-winged and Western.
But by late August, the picture begins to change.
Bonaparte’s Gulls begin arriving along both coasts and at the Great Lakes. These small, sleek, black-headed birds begin flocking south in August [Calls of a flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls]. Handsome, pale gray Ring-billed Gulls also return to both coasts in late summer, most having nested inland [Call of a Ring-billed Gull]. Both species winter along the coasts [Call of a Ring-billed Gull].
And along the Pacific, one very distinctive gull has come just for a summer visit – the Heermann’s Gull.
[Call of the Heermann’s Gull]
Watch for a gull with a very dark back, a powder-white head, and – unmistakably – a blood-red beak. Heermann’s Gulls nest along the northwest coast of Mexico, disperse northward for a few months each summer, then return south.     
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[Calls of Bonaparte’s Gulls]
###
Calls of the gulls provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Glaucous-winged recorded by A.A. Allen, & Bonaparte’s by G.A. Keller & by W.W.H. Gunn; call of Ring-billed Gull by L. Macaulay.
Heermann’s Gulls recorded by Martyn Stewart, Naturesound.org.
Ambient track recorded by Kessler Productions
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org   August 2017   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#081705gulls  gull-02b

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