Where are the sea g...
 
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Where are the sea gulls?

 
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Why are there almost NO sea gulls in the USVI?

Climate?
Range?
Predators?
Competition?
Crime?

Anybody know why?

(this is a serious question, I've seen more sea gulls in a central Ohio parking lot than down here)

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Topic starter Posted : February 12, 2009 11:42 am
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

Grapetree Bay Smugglers Cove & Turner Hole has several gulls that hang there. The park Seaborne took over in front of the projects I've seen gulls flying & catching fish.
Altona, they hang at the docks while women clean fresh fish.........we have an abundance of fish for them to eat all over the island, so they do not have to hang in the parking lots looking for hand outs.

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Posted : February 12, 2009 1:40 pm
limetime2
(@limetime2)
Advanced Member

I used to love watching the gulls fish in C'sted harbor and hang out on the pilings.... I haven't noticed them in awhile... I'd like to think they are still there though. If not, it is interesting that they would have dissappeared. They were the beautiful big grey ones.

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Posted : February 12, 2009 2:49 pm
no0ne
(@no0ne)
Advanced Member

Does anyone from the 80s remember the seagull with one leg that liked to hit up sailors for food? I cannot remember his name...

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Posted : February 12, 2009 4:23 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Laughing Gulls are seasonal visitors, I believe.

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Posted : February 12, 2009 7:38 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I've seen the two or three sea gulls others have mentioned.
But why aren't they in greater numbers like you see in Florida and all up and down the Gulf Coast?

One fellow suggested part of the reason may be our mongooses...which are a natural 'predator' to birds and their eggs.
Or perhaps they don't find our waters sufficiently teeming with small fry ...like you find in Florida's waters, for example.

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2009 2:03 am
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

According to "Common Coastal Birds of Florida and the Caribbean," the only gulls found regularly on the Caribbean islands are the laughing gulls--and typically only during the breeding season from March to November.

I would suspect that the reason for lack of gull diversity in the VI is simply historical ecological reasons, rather than some sinister cause. Only the laughing gulls seem to have established a presence, perhaps out-competing other gulls for breeding space. They are apparently aggressive breeders and nesters. On small islands, this is especially important in determining who gets to nest and who doesn't.

Also, gulls like to drink freshwater rather than the more metabolically taxing saltwater--so I would suspect that islands without large freshwater resources would not be an ideal habitat. Florida has loads of freshwater sources and the East coast and Midwest are filled with easily accessible rivers and lakes to drink from.

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Posted : February 13, 2009 2:44 am
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

Just wait until March. You will be saying when are these darn gulls going to migrate. They are fun for a few days then they are just noisy. Don't make the mistake of feeding them on the beach. They will attack.
Jay

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Posted : February 13, 2009 10:20 am
vicaptain
(@vicaptain)
Advanced Member

Venezuelan Laughing Gulls (aka, Rats With Wings) are here all summer, ready and willing to poop on any boat in sight.

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Posted : February 13, 2009 10:37 am
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