- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Bird watchers are lining up to catch a glimpse of a rare ivory gull in Duluth.

For the last week, the nearly all-white bird has been spotted on the shores of Lake Superior, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1SAXwnI ) reported. The species is typically found in the high Arctic, about 1,500 miles north of Duluth, and is rarely seen in the lower 48 states.

“It’s a birder party,” said Sharon Stiteler, aka “Birdchick,” a Minneapolis birding enthusiast and author. “I normally don’t chase birds, but my chances of ever getting to see this bird again in my lifetime are slim-to-none.”

Bob Dunlap, vice president of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, said he jumped in his car New Year’s Day 15 minutes after he heard that an ivory gull had been spotted.

“It was a fist-pump moment,” Dunlap said. “People are coming from all over the U.S. to see this bird. It’s a very big deal.”

Photographers and birders have been tossing fillets of tuna and salmon over the breakwall to lure the bird as close as possible.

“It was 10 feet away at one point, flying over my head,” Dunlap said. “I probably could’ve touched it. It was putting on a show.”

An ivory gull sighting was first reported on Dec. 30. On Tuesday, a Duluth resident found a dead ivory gull on Connor’s Point in Superior, Wisconsin. But news spread that another ivory gull was spotted at Duluth’s Canal Park.

No one knows why the two birds showed up in Duluth. “There were some warmer than usual temperatures in the Arctic in the last week - maybe that had something to do with it,” Dunlap said. “Or it could be a fluke.”


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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