Date: 2/22/17 12:32 pm
From: Jay V Huner <jvh0660...>
Subject: [LABIRD-L] Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Crawfish Country
On 20 February, John Romano contacted me about Lesser Black-backed Gulls in what I identify as the Richard-Smith Working Wetland Area bounded on the north by LA 358 and on the west by LA 751 in St. Landry Parish between Eunice and Church Point. The birds were on the north side of Dusty Road immediately east of the intersection with LA 751. I know that Robb Dobbs reported the birds at the site but think John found them first.

On my way to the area yesterday, I noted that Mike Musumeche reported LBBGs in Acadia Parish in the morning.

This brings up a point - there are lots of gulls in crawfish country and they concentrate on ponds where the crawfish are molting. John had a couple of hundred Laughing and Ring-billed gulls in the area the preceding day. I found no more than 50-60 gulls yesterday. The molt had ended the preceding day.

I got good views of a second winter LBBG as it chased a smaller gull that had filched a crawfish from a poor coot! In fact, the gulls hang around ponds with lots of coots to kleptoparasitize crawfish from them.

Anyway, one ignores concentrations of gulls around crawfish ponds at his/her own peril when it comes to finding odd ball gulls hunting meals.

My ebird report is appended below.

Jay Huner
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