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Ring-billed gulls can often be seen near municipal landfill sites. These adult birds were photographed in April in north Fargo. Keith Corliss/The Pioneer

Gull's regular hangouts make for bad reputation

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By most people's reckoning, the birds are simply seagulls, a word which makes me cringe somewhat. Some refer to them derisively as "flying rats," a nickname it seems to share with the ubiquitous rock pigeon. Regardless of what a person calls them, gulls are not usually high on the list of respected avifauna. I suspect the birds' reputation is related to their habit of regularly appearing at landfill sites and sanitary lagoons.

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