Tuesday, April 5, 2011
California and Utah Come to South Dakota
California Gull, the State Bird of Utah, visits South Dakota
Many species of gulls are starting to migrate through the Pierre, South Dakota area. Among those I saw yesterday was the California Gull pictured here. California Gull is the State Bird of Utah because of a very famous historical event. In the late spring of 1848, hordes of grasshoppers were beginning to destroy the crops of early settlers in the Great Salt Lake Basin. Then, in early June, vast flocks of California Gulls, Larus californicus, came and devoured the insects, thereby saving both the crops and the people. California Gulls breed in the Great Plains and western mountain basins, and spend the winter along the Pacific coast.