A rare visitor to the
state, the Mew Gull can be differentiated from similar gulls by the lack of any
spots on its bill and its relatively small size. The name comes from the
cat-like call it often gives. Other races of the Mew Gull are common in
often found around wooded lakes and rivers when on its summer breeding
grounds. In winter, found along the Pacific coastline, especially near
river mouths and brackish lagoons.
Diet: Omnivorous. Primary diet is
often dependent upon season and location. Common food items, include fish,
crustaceans, mollusks, insects, earthworms, small rodents, young birds and eggs,
berries, grain, carrion, and refuse.
Behavior: Will use a wide variety of foraging
techniques, including walking along the ground or in shallow water,
swimming, or dipping down to the water's surface while in flight.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: Repeated Kee-ya or cat-like Mee-you
Migration: Summers throughout Northwestern Canada and Alaska.
Winters along the Pacific Coast. Rarely migrates inland south of its
breeding range, and is thus a rare visitor to South Dakota.
Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable
throughout their normal range.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Mew Gull"
eNature.com: Mew Gull
Photo Information: June 24th, 2006 -- Near
Anchorage, Alaska -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Mew Gull photos.