Rare Swallow-tailed Gull

A Swallow-tailed Gull from the Galapagos Islands on the Edmonds, Washington, waterfront.

Swallow-tailed Gull

Birdwatchers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond flocked to the waterfront north of Seattle for several weeks in early September to see a rare Swallow-tailed Gull. While not rare in general, these gulls breed on the Galapagos Islands and live in the waters off South America, so are extremely rare in North America. Prior to this gull being sighted in several places including Edmonds, Washington, where I took these photos, a Swallow-tailed Gull had been reported only  twice in North America.

A Swallow-tailed Gull from the Galapagos Islands on the Edmonds, Washington, waterfront.

Swallow-tailed Gull and Friends

Dozens of people gathered each day to see the bird,  and I personally spoke to birdwatchers from California and Texas who had made special trips on the spur of the moment to see the gull and add it to their “life list” of birds that they have seen in North America. Definitely an avian celebrity from South America!

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