As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Strange birds spotted around city

Yellow seagulls in city
Last updated 12:10 28/03/2013

A yellow seagull spotted near the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

Yellow seagulls are making quite the appearance in Invercargill.

Several yellow gulls have been spotted in various locations across Invercargill in the past couple of weeks, and have people questioning what has happened to the birds.

One of the brightly coloured gulls made an appearance at Newfield Park School and left two young pupils wondering why the usually white and grey birds looked as though they have been coloured in by a highlighter.

Newfield Park School pupil Sean Barrett, 7, wrote a letter and drew a picture of bird to send to naturalist Lloyd Esler, asking why is was yellow and what could have happened to it.

Sean has his theories about why it is yellow, but hoped Mr Esler would be able to give him a more definite answer.

"It could have flown too close to the sun. It could be the sunshine that makes it yellow," the boy said.

Mr Esler has different ideas about why the bird is yellow, but even with the descriptive drawing and a photo, he was left puzzled.

He believes it could be part of a study or someone was having a bit of fun.

The bird that the school children had spotted was a three-month-old red-billed gull, and it is not the only yellow gull. Another was seen at the Southland Museum, which is clearly different, he said.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery curator Lindsay Hazley said the bird had been popular with visitors and was quite a talking point.

But the yellow seagulls have not been seen at the museum for several days now and that was probably due to its unusual looks, Mr Hazley said.

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