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FAQ City: Why Are There Seagulls In Charlotte?

Alan Schmierer / Flickr

It's summer, and lots of us are headed to the beach to play in the sand and see the marine wildlife. But some of our listeners say they've seen coastal creatures right here at home.

WFAE listener Rachel Eldridge was driving through west Charlotte a few months ago when she first became aware of them.

"I noticed off Freedom Drive that there were seagulls hanging out in the parking lot," she said. That was  puzzling to her, considering Charlotte is some 200 miles from the coast. So what gives?

To find out, we reached out to local birder Taylor Piephoff, who's a member of the Mecklenburg Audubon Society and a former bird columnist for The Charlotte Observer, and asked him to help explain.

He joins us on this episode of FAQ City and walks us through the reasons why seagulls (or "gulls" as they're really called) have been spending time in the Charlotte area, and why they'd want to hang out in our parking lots.

Special thanks to Rachel Eldridge for this week's question, and thanks also to Taylor Piephoff for sharing his expertise. To learn about birds (and gulls) that can be found around Charlotte, check out the Mecklenburg Audubon Society's website.

Are you a curious person with a question about Charlotte, the region, or its people? Send us your question in the box below and we may investigate on your behalf in a future episode!

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Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal