Feb 4, 2010

Too far south

by David Hollie, Ringgold, Ga.

An ivory gull was spotted last week in Georgia at West Point Dam, north of Columbus on the Alabama border. This species of gull rarely leaves the Arctic circle, even in winter, though there are many records of vagrant individuals along the East Coast and around the Great Lakes. This was the first record of the bird in Georgia and one of the most southerly sightings ever. Twitchers drove from several surrounding states to see the gull.

Sadly, the bird was injured, apparently by a bald eagle, suffered a broken wing. Rangers captured it to provide veterinary care, but the bird died before it could be treated. It was taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for study.

Photograph by David Hollie

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