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Ivory Gull Tragedy In West Point, GA

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Old Saturday 30th January 2010, 16:42   #1
jacksnipe010
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Ivory Gull Tragedy In West Point, GA

The Ivory Gull, an ultra-rarity, was recently discovered in West Point (at the dam). It was the first record of the species in Georgia, and, like most rarities, it was reported on the Georgia hotline and birders from miles around flocked to view it. It stayed for a couple of days, but by Friday it was found injured, possibly from attack from a predator. It was then taken by the park rangers in hopes for the bird to be rehabilitated, but it turned out to be too late. It died, apparently from complications from its injuries. It's doubly tragic for me because I arrived too late to see the bird in its wild state (it had been taken away minutes before my arrival at West Point). The Thayer's gull (another rarity) spotted in the same area may just be an afterthought now....(sigh)

GABO-L: Ivory Gull In West Point

Michael Todd's photos of Thayer's and Ivory Gull at West Point

Jack, just passing this on
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Old Saturday 30th January 2010, 16:57   #2
KC Foggin
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Yeah, I've been following this on the CarolinaBirds listserve. So sad.
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2010, 02:16   #3
Lejun40
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Along with number birders, I had the opportunity of observing the Ivory Gull, (Pagophila eburnea) at the West Point Lake Dam near the town of West Point, GA on 1/29/10. I have chronicled our observation in my web gallery at http://www.pbase.com/lejun/ivorygull. My video of this event can be seen at http://www.pbase.com/lejun/image/121547913.

We observed this bird for a period of about 2.5 hours. It is extremely unusual to see this species so far south. This is perhaps the Southern most identification of this species. As reported by Sibley, this bird is a distinctive Arctic species found around pack ice in the high arctic. The bird only rarely comes south of the Bering Sea or the Maritime Provinces. In its range, the number of ivory gulls has fallen rapidly over the years. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies this species as "near threatened".
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