Have You Ever Seen Seagulls in Kentucky? Here’s Why You Might!
For the record, that is not Panama City Beach, Florida. No, that photo was taken by my friend Kathy Huckleberry in Glasgow, Kentucky of all places. Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is indeed a massive flock of seagulls. No! Not the 80s band. That's a flock of real freaking seagulls in the southern part of the state. Wait! What?
What in the heck are seagulls doing in Kentucky?
When Kathy shared her photo a couple of days ago, I immediately reached out to her. I must admit. I have spent a lot of time in the sand in my lifetime and have routinely been surrounded by seagulls. They love potato chips and bread crumbs.
However, I have never, until this photo, seen a gull here in the Commonwealth. Kathy agrees. She said, "It's weird!" But just how out of the ordinary is this?
Former WBKR intern Alex Carlton lives in Madisonville now. She says there's a huge flock there that like to hang out by the McDonald's.
This is so perplexing that I decided to do some research. I quickly found out that this isn't the first time the seagulls have flown into Kentucky. As a matter of fact, it was about this time last year (in 2021) that Kentuckians on the eastern side of the state- Pikeville, Boonville, Jackson- started sending photos of seagulls to WKYT.
They then published a story called "Flock of Gulls Spotted in Parts of Eastern Kentucky". In that story, their reporters consulted the National Audubon Society's Field Guide. According to the experts, it's actually quite common for these types of birds to "migrate to Kentucky and live here during the winter."
The website FlamingPurpleJellyfish, which is written by a fellow Kentuckian, documented a flock of gulls that sets up shop at the Walmart in Morehead, Kentucky. Apparently, they've been flying to that location for years. I guess they love Rollback Prices too.
The gulls seem to be fond of Kentucky Lake as well. According to Barbara Harris, who says she's been observing them for over fifteen years, "There have been flocks of seagulls wintering over at Kentucky Dam on Kentucky Lake. There is a sign designating that fact, along with the estimated number in the flock near the Kentucky Dam Observation Area."
In case you're wondering what to do if a flock of gulls raids your yard or Walmart, here's one thing you cannot do.
According to the website Critter Control, the gulls are protected by federal law because they are classified as a migratory species. In fact, in the United States, "gulls may be taken only with a permit issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Permits are issued only after frightening techniques, physical barriers, or both have been used correctly and qualified personnel certify that these methods have been ineffective."
In other words, don't shoot one.
And since seagulls can drink both salt and freshwater, they're likely going to be sticking around Kentucky for a while. Just imagine what's going to happen if they develop a taste for bourbon. It's gonna look Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds up in here.
LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state
LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world