WR&E frequently receives calls from frantic people that have called everyone they know trying to get assistance for an injured animal – That is until they find us. On this occasion it was a lady at the Gulfgate Shopping Center who was trying to keep cars from running over an injured gull. WR&E staff talked her through how to capture the bird and gave her directions to the Wildlife Center. When it proved futile to corner the bird alone, this lady was able to enlist the aid of men waiting for day labor nearby.
An exam and x-ray revealed soft tissue damage to the wing and a break in the ulna. The wing was wrapped and after several days of supportive care the gull began eating on its own. It will just need several weeks of cage rest to heal its wing, then some time in a flight cage to strengthen the muscles again.
Now for the interesting part – this was no run of the mill gull! Ring-billed gulls like to use the Texas Gulf Coast as their wintering grounds. The most striking features on the gull are its pale eyes with red orbital ring, its bright yellow legs and black sub terminal band on its yellow bill.
Like other gulls, Ring-billed gulls like to forage through dumps and parking lots near human populations – so the gull was probably getting dinner at one of the fast food restaurants. Even though the shopping is great at Gulfgate…it was probably only there for a snack.