March 4, 2009

Reason for Hoover Reservoir gulls unknown

An avian expert says he has been unable to determine why thousands of gulls have made Ohio's Hoover Reservoir their new home.

Jim McCormac, an Ohio Division of Wildlife avian educator, said the number of gulls that traditionally reside at the reservoir has increased by thousands this year, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said Wednesday.

This is really, really remarkable for central Ohio, McCormac said of the unusual population increase. The place is just lousy with gulls.

There are way more gulls than normal, probably three times what you normally see, avid birder Richard Lakeman said in agreement.

McCormac has suggested the gull population increase at the Hoover Reservoir may be due to cold weather in the area that has forced the birds to alter their migration patterns.

The state educator told the Dispatch the birds may simply be staying at the reservoir until warmer weather allows them to move on to more traditional migration sites.