Hundreds of seagulls invade Ranshaw, Walmart Supercenter

Published: 3/20/2017 10:00 AM
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BY MARK GILGER

THE NEWS-ITEM

mark_g@newsitem.com

RANSHAW — A huge flock of seagulls invaded Ranshaw, Walmart Supercenter and other eastern sections of the local area for a few hours Sunday afternoon.

In what resembled a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense thriller “The Birds,” between 300 and 400 seagulls known more for hovering over beaches began flying into the area around 2:30 p.m. Unlike the movie, the seagulls reportedly didn’t cause any damage or injuries.

The seagulls actually brought smiles to youngsters and adults as several residents of Ranshaw fed them cereal, pretzels, chips and cookies while capturing keepsake photos of the birds, some of which swooned down and took food from people’s hands.

Ranshaw residents Josh and Lisa Kalinowski, their 5-year-old daughter, Haley, Emily Mestlin, and Mike Deitz, of Shamokin, fed the birds for a couple hours as they landed in droves near Brady Towing and Repair, 411 Clay St., operated by Josh Kalinowski.

Deitz said, “This is unbelievable. It’s like being in Ocean City, Maryland.”

“I went through several bags of pretzels already and we’ve also given them cereal, chips and cookies,” said Josh Kalinowski at about 3:30 p.m. “I’ve never seen this many seagulls around here before.”

Deitz and Kalinowski believe the recent snowstorm that dumped up to two feet of snow in the area may have caused the seagulls to fly into the local area.

The sudden climate change from cold, cloudy and snowy earlier in the week to sunny skies and temperatures near 50 degrees Sunday also may have played a factor in attracting the seagulls.

Brian Edwards, a meteorologist at Accu Weather in State College, said he couldn’t explain why the seagulls took a sudden interest in the Ranshaw area.

He said, “They could have been displaced from other areas due to the weather, but I really can’t offer a sound explanation because we don’t have any bird experts here at Accu Weather.”

Although nobody knows for sure why the seagulls came to the area, they certainly enjoyed their stay as they flew through the sky, perched on rooftops, gathered in the parking lot and on top of the roof at Walmart, and feasted on snacks before departing.

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