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The Cries of the Wheeling Gulls

In “The Guest”, a story in The Deadliest Deceptions, Miriam is moved by the gulls as she and her new friend rush to the harbor to stop a scoundrel from escaping:


The mournful, human-like cries of a squadron of gulls soaring, wheeling, and swooping over the breakers dispirited me as we elbowed through the crowd while the kaleidoscope of colors flooding my eyes resolved into a throng of passengers tramping toward the gangplank. Then the blare of a trumpet. The shriek of a whistle. The groan of ropes. And the whine of hatches.


“The gods have failed us. We’re too late! The scoundrel has escaped. And we don’t even know who he is.”


In common usage, various species of gulls are often referred to as sea gulls or seagulls; however, "seagull" is a term used only informally to refer to a common local species or all gulls in general. It has no taxonomic meaning among professionals.


But why do they fly in tight circles? As for their flying in formation, they have likely caught a thermal and are using the updraft to gain height or ride on while searching for feeding opportunities.


And why do they cry when flying? According to Ian Jones, a seabird specialist at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador, “When they do that, it's associated with the adult birds getting very excited and then giving these loud calls.”


No wonder Miriam was stirred by the gulls. You would be too if you were on the heels of a murderous scoundrel. Did she and her friend apprehend him? To answer that question, you’ll have to click here.


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