Lake Gulls Flock to Pittston Township Shopping Center


PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — If you live in the Pittston area, it’s an unusual sight attracting a lot of attention. Many are noticing a unique flock of birds roaming around a local shopping center.

“They are not seagulls… They are lake gulls. These are lake gulls,” Wilkes University professor Jeff Stratford said.

Lake gulls, which Stratford says are invading the Pittston Commons shopping center. Stratford says these birds will travel not from the sea, but from bodies of water to our north.

Dozens of lake gulls have been frequenting a shopping center parking lot in Pittston Township.

“When it gets cold and the great lakes freeze over, they will actually come down in our area until the great lakes unfreeze,” says Stratford.

And with the frigid weather over the past week, they likely will not be leaving anytime soon.

Especially since they are on a well-fed diet. While Eyewitness News was on the scene, residents stopped by to feed the birds, but did not want to go on camera.

They stopped their cars and pulled out bread crumbs to feed to the dozens of lake gulls. We were told the birds have been around for a few months and continue to grow in population.

While some residents have complained about the large flock in the parking lot, others do not seem to mind the company.

“It’s common but it’s not abnormal. It’s beautiful in a way… It’s nature,” says George Johnson from Lake Wallenpaupack.

“I mean, what are they doing? They aren’t bothering anybody. They are going on with their business. Leave these birds alone,” said Kit Mayzim.

Eyewitness News asked some businesses about their thoughts on the flock, but they declined to answer. Stratford says these birds should return to the great lakes during the spring when it gets warmer.

However, if people keep feeding them, odds are they will stick around.

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