Date: 5/21/18 6:35 pm From: Alan Buriak <a_buriak...> Subject: Nesting Herring Gull at Allegheny River Lock 7, Kittanning, Armstrong County
Yesterday at Lock and Dam #7 at Kittanning, Armstrong County, Theo Rickert discovered and reported a Herring Gull in an incubating position on a nest built on a concrete navigational structure out in the middle of the Allegheny River just north of the dam. Today I got a call from Sam Gutherie who was there and took pictures of the nest with the bird still on it.
There have been 3 or 4 adult Herring Gulls hanging around the Lock 7 area year round for awhile now, which by itself is unremarkable, however correct me if I'm wrong, but this nesting occurrence seems a bit incredible! I consulted The Birds of Pennsylvania (McWilliams and Brauning), which I believe contains data up through 1998. As of 1998, there were only three known sites at which nesting was ever attempted in PA: continuous nesting (with some actual success) at the Highland Park Bridge area in Pittsburgh since 1994, periodic nesting attempts (but no confirmed successes) at Presque Isle SP in Erie since 1995, and a single attempt on Turning Point Island west of Erie in 1990, which was not followed up on. Can anyone fill in as to whether there are additional known nesting attempts in PA since 1998? I assume there is some scattered nesting being attempted since Herring Gull populations and range I believe are expanding, but I am trying to gather how big a deal this nesting attempt is at Lock 7 in Kittanning. Thanks in advance for anyone that can fill in info on this.