web analytics

Gull Feeding Frenzy

Posted on Nov 13, 2015

There have been enormous numbers of gulls feeding in Long Island Sound over the past few months with sizable numbers of bait fish and schools of other species to prey on. This is before today’s mega and historic weather-based Franklin’s Gull invasion of the Northeast! More on that later…but going back to this summer and early fall, the busy food web has even attracted several whales into the waters. Laughing Gulls, absent for much of the summer, have been seen in great abundance since late summer. Their activity, along with that of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, brought in an occasional Parasitic Jaeger. These lightning-fast seabirds attack and chase Laughing Gulls until they cause them to drop their catch, stealing it for themselves. What does this all say about the health of the waters? One can hope that Long Island Sound’s busy season is more due to improving quality of life than just a shift thanks to climate change. My best guess would be some of both…but this is all why studying and protecting our waters is paramount in the 21st century.

Gull feeding frenzy SFP-5741

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator