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The story behind the ivory gull mania

Birders used social media to get the word out, and suddenly a small bird became a sensation.

By: Jeff Moravec, Special to the Star Tribune | January 15, 2016

If the ivory gull that spent the first week of the year in Duluth’s Canal Park has in fact flown the coop, the bird should be headed to Hollywood - after all, it is now a bona fide star.

The gull was last seen in Duluth about a week ago. During its visit (about 1,500 miles south of its usual winter home on the pack ice of the High Arctic), the gleaming white bird attracted hundreds of observers to Canal Park. Scores of longtime birders quickly grew fond of the bird that was clearly comfortable with people and grateful for the meals of salmon proffered by many visitors.

While its fans will miss the ivory gull, the people whose avocation has been to report its comings and goings may finally have a chance to catch their breath.

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Photo: Richard Hoeg