One summer, somewhere in the vastness of the Arctic, perhaps on a cliff along the coast of Greenland or maybe on a rocky island in the Arctic Ocean, about 2,000 miles from Vermont, a pair of Glaucous Gulls built a nest of sedge, moss, twigs, and maybe some stray feathers. The female, like her mate, frosty gray and white, laid a clutch of eggs, speckled and spotted to resemble the tundra. And from one of those eggs hatched a gull that went on to make a remarkable autumn journey … to a compost pile to spend the winter here in Vermont.
We joined Bryan Pfeiffer, a VCE research associate and avid birder, at Grow Compost in Waterbury to witness a winter gull spectacle. Hundreds of gulls (and other birds) hang out amid this huge expanse of compost enjoying an endless feast, including a few rare arctic visitors like Glaucous Gulls.
Join us as we learn about these amazing birds. They’re smart, resourceful, and graceful – but don’t call them sea gulls! There are inland species, even some that live in the desert. They’re found on every continent on the planet – spectacularly successful.
Listen to the show
- From Glaucous Gulls to Bald Eagles, there are beautiful images of birds observed at Grow Compost and submitted to Vermont eBird.
- View the latest bird sightings at Grow Compost on Vermont eBird and get directions to this and other birding hotspots.
- Add your sightings at Vermont eBird.
- Learn more about Glaucous Gulls.
- Read more about this visiting Arctic gull on Bryan Pfeiffer’s Blog.
- Here’s a map of Bryan’s favorite gull watching areas.
IMAGES FROM THE SHOW
Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio with support from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.