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Utahns flock to Great Salt Lake to see birds aplenty at Gullstravaganza

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brian Nordberg, Colleen Nordberg, and Jess Stokes look for eagles and gulls as Great Salt Lake Audubon hosts the 9th Annual Gullstravaganza, gull-watching event at Farmington Bay on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.

Utah bird enthusiasts gathered at Farmington Bay on Saturday morning to watch thousands California gulls prancing in and over the shallow salty waters of the Great Salt Lake.

The annual Gullstravaganza, hosted by Great Salt Lake Audubon, celebrates the throngs of seagoing birds that travel 800 miles inland to breed at the lake. Named for the Golden State, gulls are honored as Utah’s state bird.

Every winter, as the California gulls congregate by the thousands on the edges of the Great Salt Lake, other species of gulls that stray from their normal winter ranges mix into the spectacle, creating a hot spot for “gulling.” Turning up are smaller numbers of Ring-billed Herring gulls. Also observed are Iceland gulls and handfuls of Glaucous, Glaucous-winged, Mew, Lesser Black-backed and Western gulls.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Birdwatchers stand watch as Great Salt Lake Audubon hosts the 9th Annual Gullstravaganza, gull-watching event at Farmington Bay on Saturday Feb. 2, 2019.

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