Salt Lake City Sea-Gull

When I was settling into my new digs here in Salt Lake City, walking to and from Liberty Park during my lunch-hour, driving around the city, and hiking on the weekends, it struck me as strange that there would be sea-gulls as part of the natural fauna for this mountain area…even with the Great Salt Lake being present.  My life experience, to date, involved gulls only existing or living near the oceans.  While it is no longer unusual, to me, to see them flying about, even with snow blanketing everything during its season, it still seems a bit strange….

In an effort toward learning more about my new home-town, I read a couple of books on the history of the Salt Lake area and the Mormon pioneers.  One of the books, The Great Salt Lake, by Dale L. Morgan, detailed the “miracle of the gulls,” and the almost revered place the birds hold with the faithful of the Mormon Church.  Long-story-short is that the Mormon settlers’ crops were being destroyed by crickets, the gulls suddenly appeared one morning and dropped out of the heavens by the tens and hundreds and thousands and consumed the crickets, the crops recovered, and the people survived…and the Mormons blessed and praised their god for his providence in rescuing them from crop-failure and certain starvation.  There is a monument memorializing this gull-salvation in the form of a giant and open-winged gull perched on an arch at State Street and South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City…only a couple blocks from the temple.  Morgan also tells us in his book that, while there is a local taboo against causing any harm to befall the birds, it is also against the law.

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16 responses

  1. That’s fascinating! Gulls here remind me of clear winter mornings, waking up to the sounds of their cries.

    February 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

    • Yes, Helen, it is a rather interesting story. What a nice sense-memory. I love their cries…so familiar from another place, so nice that they’re here. Thank you. 🙂

      February 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

  2. I live about 100 miles from the ocean and the gulls winter in our fields and parking lots they come inland to purge themselves of sea salts

    February 15, 2012 at 7:32 am

    • How very interesting, Bonnie. I didn’t know the gulls would do that. Thank you for the info. 🙂

      February 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

  3. Interesting history about the gulls. Thanks for sharing this.

    February 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

    • Yes, Mel, it is rather interesting, thank you…and you’re welcome.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  4. Yep, it’s the state bird. If you’ve driven out to Antelope Island, you will see a LOT of gulls along the causeway. They tell you that the Great Salt Lake has the largest nesting population of California Gulls. Who would have thunk!

    February 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

    • Thank you, Fergiemoto…I wasn’t aware of those details…and I haven’t been to Antelope Island yet, but it’s on my to-do list for visiting.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm

  5. Thanks, a fascinating story.

    February 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    • Thank you, Chillbrook.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  6. victoriaaphotography

    Interesting.
    Great shot of the seagull.
    There are hoards of them in and around where I live, but I love seeing them stand in the water at low tide down the beach. I like the reflections.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    • Yes, kind of interesting historically…and thank you. I watch them around the park’s pond where I took this photo…walking around and talking with the other gulls and geese. I imagine the reflections would be pretty at low tide….

      February 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

  7. I’ve enjoyed seeing the gulls too when I passed through the are of the Salt Lake, and I remember the story too.

    February 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    • How nice, Montucky…thank you. 🙂

      February 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  8. A very interesting story. Some new info for me. Thanks for sharing, Scott.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

    • Thank you, Jessie…and you’re very welcome. 🙂

      February 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

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