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John Lundy, Forum Communications Co., Published May 17 2010

Return flight: Steven Seagull visits Duluth Super 8 Motel for ninth year

DULUTH, Minn. – Steven Seagull came back, and this year he has a couple of buds.

Make that peeps.

For the ninth year, the ring-billed gull with a taste for doughnuts showed up at the Duluth Super 8 Motel at 4100 W. Superior St., tapping on the glass door with its beak, expecting to be fed.

Jodi Chambers, the Super 8 manager, said Steven Seagull arrived late this year: early April as compared with the normal mid-March arrival.

“He must have a good place down South, because he shows up pretty plump,” Chambers said on Saturday.

And there has been a change.

“Normally he chases all the other birds away,” Chambers said. “This year he has a pigeon posse.”

Or at least a pigeon duo. S. Seagull has been sharing some of his feast of motel breakfast leftovers with two pigeons. And they’ve made themselves at home, even bathing in the motel’s water-recycling bucket.

Chambers said she has learned pigeons typically live seven or eight years in the wild, although they can live as long as 20 years.

So perhaps Steven Seagull is mellowing with age.

Or not.

He still taps on the glass door, and if he doesn’t get a response, he screeches until he does, Chambers said.

And if it seems gulls will eat anything, that turns out not to be the case.

“He does not like rice cakes at all,” Chambers said. “Neither do the pigeons. We had to sweep them away.”


John Lundy writes for the Duluth News Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.