Visit Grand Marais, Minnesota

Only in Grand Marais, Minnesota Lighthouse on Lake Superior otter/fish market

Behind every good story is a bird.
Our seagull was stolen from a billboard on I-35. Here’s what some think might have happened. A winner will be selected from all entries on September 30th. The winner will receive two nights’ lodging in Grand Marais, Minnesota, for two adults/two children, plus other surprises. The best story wins.



Tourism Office/Grand Marais,MN
We are currently deciding on a winner. Stay tuned in the next day for an announcement.


Bridgette/Duluth,MN
I think he is somewhere in Two Harbors trying to find the over sized Chicken that lives there.


Marilyn/Lincoln,NE
I am the gull Larus delawarensis Who wearied of misnomerarius If you would please mull Using my real name, Ring Gull. Of this story we hear from the Commerce, The only thing worse, an absolute curse: Confusion with that lout the Herring Pink legs and no ring bill make me consider swearing! I left town in a snit No, I won’t regret it Learn your gulls and you may see A return visit from me!


Monta/St. Paul,MN
Well ok, it's going to be Sept. 25 in less than an hour so I think I'll fess up. It's me, your I-35 Billboard welcome mascot for Grand Marais. And those aren't what's left of my feet on the Billboard, they're fake feet. I made them so everyone would be looking for a footless seagull and I see I pretty much fooled everyone. I flew off because it was time for me to start training for the next Boreal Birding Festival next year in June. Every year there's everything from Tundra Swans and Rusty Blackbirds to Boreal Owls and Evening Grosbeaks. Nary a word about Seagulls! So I'm taking the bird by the beak and will be representing ALL Seagulls, finally! You can find me in the North House Folk School where I'm enrolled in the "Boreal Birdwatching Best in Show" nine-month course. But I won't be coming out to stand on top of that Billboard again until after the Festival next June. If visitors want to know what goes on in Grand Marais, they can come to the school and on my breaks, I'll be glad to tell them. In fact, I'll give them a bit of a hint now; there's Artists' Point, cobble beaches, Performing Arts, Naturalist Activities, hiking, fishing, sailing, outdoor music, ancient lava rock, a boreal forest, quaint shops, art galleries, historical sites, blazing Autumn colors along Lake Superior's shoreline, fantastic donuts...and, oh, breaks over, back to my training. Just remember this, Grand Marais is a timeless harbor village...THE place to be in any season! Now, stop looking for me!


Jim/Ely,MN
With all the "Buzz" being created about this bird's disappearance, the rumor going around Ely is that the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce stole it themselves in a sinister public relations scam. I personally believe it is being incarcerated in the back room of Chuck's Barber Shop. Unbeknownst to many, Petek means "bird thief" in Slovenien!!!


Chris/Cocoa,FL
There once was a gull who left his nest, and created a mystery for the rest. Flying north on 61, he went out searching for some fun. After losing track of the time, he saw a familiar missing sign. It said ‘have you seen or have you heard, please, please give us the bird.’ This crafty bird cracked a smile, flying high above the clouds a while. Realizing the missing bird was him, he hatched a plan on how to cash in. First he stopped off for some lunch, crispy french fries munch, munch, munch! Then he flew on, above the great lake, starting on a little trip he’d take. He got a great view of it all, the lighthouse, trees, and waterfalls. He saw bikers, hikers, and a moose, and people paddling in canoes. Off in the distance near the borderline, he heard the sound of the wild loon’s cry. Fishing boats brought in the catch of the day, to happy people sitting by the bay. High up in the clear blue skies, then and there he realized. His great reward was flying free, taking in the wondrous scenery. Just one stop left, that familiar place, a beautiful town on the shores of the lake. And now he’s off and on his way, heading home, to Grand Marais.


Kathleen/Minneapolis,MN
That bird ain't lost! He just got borded to death watching all the cars go by. Some honkers flying overhead suggested if he was looking for action, he best head South to a large metropolitan area with several lakes. He took their advice and broke free. He looked down at all the spaghetti roads and endless houses. Where to go? Then he saw an almost perfect circle of water below. Looked good, so he dropped altitude. Sure 'nuf! There it was, a sparkling lake circled by bikers, runners, swimmers and picnickers with lots and lots of food! Especially at the Tin Fish restaurant. Why starve on 35-W when he can eat to his heart's content scamming, scrappling and grabbing all the delectible bits found around Lake Calhoun?


Linda/St. Paul,MN
He was a seagull, not a signgull!! How long had it been since those glory days? The Baywatch gig - week after week flying in just the right position over Pamila Anderson as she raced across the beach, ahhhhh. Hasselhoff was much less interesting. He had been a star but the movies, the TV shows, and the commercials were just a memory. Now he stared all day and night at that ribbon of concrete called Interstate 35 and the seemingly endless stream of vehicles heading north on Fridays and passing back again Sunday nights. What was it his grandfather Jonathan had told him? He was certain it was something profound...."It's good to be a seeker but sooner or later you have to be a finder." The lyrics to the song "Fly Away" played over and over in his head until finally he could no longer stand it. At that moment,a red Ford Explorer with an Old Town canoe strapped to the roof passed below. It was now or never! He flung himself off the sign and clutched the canoe tightly! with his wings. He clung there for what seemed like an eternity. The hot sun was baking him. Feathers were flying as the wind buffetted him mercilessly. He was exhausted. The Explorer abruptly stopped and he rolled to the ground with a violent thud. The smell of something unfamiliar but quite wonderful brought him out of his stupor. He began to focus and suddenly, there she was - the most beautiful gull he had ever seen perched on the roof of the World's Best Donut Shop. He had finally found what he had been seeking all his life. So in the early dawn, as the sun pokes its yellow rays over the edge of Superior's horizon, you'll find Steven and Katie Seagull perched on a rocky outcropping at the tip of Artists' Point, wing in wing, greeting another new day in Paradise.


Flip/Grand Marais,MN
The bird is having a little vacation. You can follow his posts on Facebook: Look for Flip Marais.


Mike/Independence,MO
OK, I admit it. I took the damn bird. But, he begged me to do it. Once he heard World's Best Donuts was closing for the winter, that was it. No talking him out of it. He was out of there. Luckily, I was on my way back to Kansas City from Grand Marias, and in my back seat was... you guessed it!... a dozen of the World's Best Donuts. We ate the last one just south of Minneapolis, and I swear, I haven't seen him since. The last words he muttered was something about free Canadian health care and an upset stomach. My guess? Thunder Bay. Check all the emergency rooms for birds in the last two weeks complaining of stomach ache and breath that smells like donuts. Put those two together, and you've got your bird. My suggestion - bring some of the World's Best Donuts or wait till spring cause he ain't coming back till the donuts return. Hope this helps.


Ellie/Red Wing,mn
It all started with a gold and green jersey with the number 4 on it. You see in his quest to become a Minnesota viking Brett Favre felt he had to do something truly amazing to be excepted by the wonderful people of Minnesota. Shortly before his meeting with Ziggy (the Vikings owner) Favre took a drive to see the beautiful scenery. He had a long flight and just wanted to get out of the city. A kind face at a hotel in down town Minneapolis suggested a drive up I35. He rented a car and was soon on his way. After the traffic of the metro thinned out he pondered as he drove. Should I or shouldn't I. He passed many scenic towns along the way, Hinckley and eventually Duluth, but it wasn't quite what he was looking for. So he kept traveling North-Now he realized he was getting close, the scenery was breath taking but still not quite right. Then finally he sees a sign. It reads "NEXT REST AREA...only in Grand Marais" with a strange looking beautiful bird on top of the sign. THIS IS IT...he has his epiphany!!! I will bring this bird back to the MN vikings as a peace offering-then the will make me a Minnesota mud duck. Farve then backed his rental car up to the sign, scaled the poles like he was Bear Gryillis, tip toed across the sign and snatched the bird up! Slowly he scaled back down the pole and buckled his bird in the passenger seat of his car! He promptely tuned his car around and drove very quickly back to the twin cities to make it to his meeting with Ziggy to decide if he would become a Viking or not! About 50 miles later he sees blue and red lights behind him and the screech of a police siren. He pulls his car over and hopes that the cop is a football fan. The police officer walks up to his car and has him roll down the window and says the dreaded words "Sir, do you know how fast you were going?" but stops mid sentence as he notices the bird in the passenger seat. He say sir what are you doing with that bird? Farve replies-well you see I have been pondering if I should be come a MN Viking, I took a drive and came apon this bird, and I thought maybe if I brought the rest of the team a duck they would except me into the team. The cop (barely holding back the laughter) says "well you have a safe drive back, and slow down." Favre drives the rest of the way back to the meeting, brings the seagull in and says to the team. Well guys I have decided to become a Minnesota Viking, and I know that you are traditionally called MN mud ducks, So I brought you one. The team erupts with laughter- Favre just thinks they really like the gift. And they decide that Brett Favre can now be a MN viking. EVEN IF HE DOESN'T KNOW HE STOLE A SEAGULL NOT A DUCK!!!


Jane/Bloomington,MN
Sally the Seagull longed for the north shore. She liked her perch on the billboard but wanted to join her friends in the beautiful town of Grand Marais. She wanted to enjoy the sunrise over the harbor, begging for scraps of pastry from the tourists coming out of the World's Best Donut shop, and the leisurely pace of life that makes Grand Marais such a special place. Wishing on a star one night, her fondest dreams came true. She joined her friends in the harbor and gets to live in Grand Marais year-round instead of sitting on the billboard.


Bill/Rogers,MN
I did some sleuthing around your billboard and found this ransom note. Had a broken feather in the envelope with it. Looks like an interstate crime to me: Dear Grand Marais, We have your seagull. Don't call the police. Don't go to the media. Just do as you're told and no one gets hurt. Our demands are simple- 1. Take down your billboard 2. Eat more cheese 3. Send Brett Favre back to Green Bay Hey, we're serious. I've got people standing in line to kill this bird. Do you have any idea how loud, messy and obnoxious a 5 foot gull can be? You have until next Sunday. Choose wisely. If our demands are met, the gull flies home. If we see Favre in purple one more time, well, it's bye-bye birdie. Capish? Sincerely, Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism


Andrea/Duluth ,MN
I think he flew away, maybe he is following the loons south. The noise and polution alongside the I-35 probley affected his brain!


Irene/Indeoendence,Missouri
So you want your bird....Back. Lol. Or by chance you desire an explanation as to the cause of such a horrific deed. Anyone of us would agree that to be snatched clean away from the feet on which we stand is quite mortiFLYING and cries out for justice. I believe I espied such a bird as I made my trek through the north shore area. Sad, dejected, and without a friend. Yes, there he was held up by a single wing, trying to obtain his disability. The moral of this story? Never try to procure that which is unattainable if you haven't a foot to stand on. Sad but true your bird is gone gone gone.


Jacob/Independence ,Missouri
I wish someone would have told me about the missing bird last time I was in Grand Marais. We could have solved this problem a long time ago. Nobody stole the Gull. Nor did the wind carry it off in a storm. The same circumstance would befall any bird placed on that billboard. I suppose it is probable that someday someone will stumble across it. Unfortunately, they just won’t be able to recognize it. The mystery is reminiscent of this lady who had several ceramic deer in her back yard. During the middle of the night vandals would come and smash her poor, little darlings to bits. She would purchase more deer only to have the same disaster repeated over and over again. Not even the police could catch the crooks. Finally, she purchased a camera, put more deer out, and the next morning she caught her offenders. There were monstrous bucks humping her poor, defenseless babies! What I’m trying to say is that some monstrous, male gull in the heat of the day knocked it down and carried it away. For all we know it may have ended up in Lake Superior. I wouldn’t waste anymore time looking for it. Just find that monstrous gull, shoot it, stuff it, and put him on the billboard instead. I’ll keep an eye out for it while I’m enjoying my free trip to Grand Marais.


Randy/New Prague,MN
I think I know where the bird is. On a recent visit to Wisconson my wife and I saw the strangest thing. A sea gull circling above Lake Superior, close to shore. Every time he tried to land, all you could see was the poor little guys legs. NO FEET! I figure this must be your bird and I think I know what it will take to get him back. Give Brett Favre back to the Packers and then maybe the good folks in Wisconsin will give you the bird...back. Fair trade wouldn't you say!


TRICIA/Thunder Bay,ON
I DO BELIEVE I KNOW WHERE YOUR BIRD MAY BE ... HAVE YOU CHECKED AT THE US/CANADA BORDER CROSSING AND IMMIGRATION OFFICE ? I DID SEE IT EARLY ON IN JULY AT THE THUNDER BAY BLUES FESTIVAL ... BUT IF THE BIRD HAD NOT ACQUIRED A PASSPORT BEFORE LEAVING THE COUNTRY - IT MAY BE CONFINED AGAINST ITS WILL AT THE BORDER TRYING TO CONVINCE THE OFFICIALS THAT GRAND MARAIS REALLY IS WHERE IT'S AT ... AND ALL IT WANTS IS TO GET BACK WHERE IT BELONGS.


The Bird/Current Location: Sacramento, CA
Dear Director of Grand Marais Area Tourism Association, I am taking a stand! I am perching myself here in Sacramento, California on top of the capitol building until I have the opportunity to speak to the Governator! I know he will be empathetic to my concerns. Day in and day out I have put up with the elements--it gets cold, it gets hot, I get wet, frozen, and overheated! People honk, laugh, and point at me constantly. So here I am perched, waiting for Arnold to hear me; I know he will help me negotiate a more fair contract. Perhaps Maury the Moose or the big fish from the Beaver House could take my place until this matter is resolved. Sincerely yours, the Bird


James and Kimberly/Duluth,MN
My wife and I recently saw that you were having a contest for the best story, which addressed the issue of the stolen seagull from your local signage on highway I-35. I would like to happily inform you of the fact that your seagull was not actually stolen. You may ask how can I be so sure that the seagull was not stolen? I know this because I recently saw him as he was feverishly flying northward! Of course usually at this time of the year birds customarily are seen flying south, so I called to this particular northward bound bird, and asked if he would kindly explain his rationale for flying northward. He was nice enough to briefly stop, and explain his reasoning. I would have thought that the seagull’s logic would have been quite fowl, but I found it to be quite reasonable. He told me that as expected, his family had begun to make their preparations for their southward winter vacation. For the first time in memory though, the specific seagull in question announced that this year, he did not intend to join the rest of the flock on their traditional winter journey. His family squawked over his decision, but the little seagull that sat upon your sign was firm in his resolution. His reasoning was that there was not a good reason to spend so much energy and time heading southward, when everything that one could want for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, could be f! ound right there in Grand Marais! He explained that he thought that the tradition of flying south for the winter was quite “bird-brained”, and he did not want to go! Of course I asked the little bird why it was that he was no longer sitting upon his regular sign, if he was not intending to leave Grand Marais? He explained that he had flown a short distance together with his fellows and family members, trying to convince them of their folly. Try as he may; only a few truly independent thinkers became convinced to return with him. Of course there were those of his family that looked forward each year to attending the Southern Regional aerobatics and Dive Bombing Contest, and the little bird proudly told me that one of his brothers had taken second place in target bombing last year. But for the most part, the majority of the birds simply headed south each year for no other reason, than because it “was what everyone does”. So giving up his attempt to change their minds, the little seagull turned to head back home. I was happy to have had the pleasure of speaking to your resident seagull, because like his own countrymen, my wife and I have had many enjoyable and relaxing get-a-ways in Grand Marais. Whether it was while spending time prowling through the quaint Grand Marais down town shops, or spending pleasurable time holding a fishing pole while enjoying nature around one of the many waterways that can be found in Grand Marais. We have always loved Grand Marais, but simply had not considered it as a wintertime destonation. Your little seagull changed our minds! Like the little seagull that stopped briefly to chat with us, my wife and I now realize that whether it is in the spring, summer, fall, or even winter If one is looking to experience a vacation that offers just about anything from a family fishing trip to a romantic honeymoon get-away, Grand Marais has it! Again, I am happy to have informed you of the happy news, that your seagull was not stolen! He did ask me to tell you that while he is in fact headed home, it will take him a little while. My wife and I offered him a ride, but he happily told us that he preferred to fly, since he often experiences motion sickness when traveling by car. He also announced to my wife and me that he no longer wished to be addressed as “seagull”, since the one feature that Grand Marais does not offer is a seashore. The little bird said that he would appreciate it if he were now addressed by his more appropriate and new acquired Hip-Hop name, “Snoop Bay Gull Bay Gull. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing you in Grand Marais!


Diane/Smithville,MO
Has anyone checked with Sam Cook down in Duluth? I just met his sister down here in Missouri, and when I left the place she works, I saw a suspicious seagull lurking out back of Miller's Nursery....maybe they are holding it captive for fertilizer!!!! If anyone can get him to confess to the crime, I will try to capture the bird and return it to Grand Marais when I come back to my cabin in a couple of weeks.........


Ronald/thunder bay,ont
Well the bird will be back on billboard on I-35 to say good bye to all his vistors that came and stayed in grand marais. You see is the bird is flying around the great city of Grand Marais to keep an eye on things to make sure all the vistors enjoy themselves in Grand Marais like always.


Renee/Hoyt Lakes,MN
I recommend checking with the "Big Fish" on top of the Beaver House. Rumor has it he's fed up with watching all the gulls eat his little fish buddies in the bay and he knows how all the gulls worship their buddy on top of the sign. (He was also quite jealous of the exposure the gull was getting on I-35.) So, he slipped out one night, made his way to the sign and took the gull. I believe he has it hidden somewhere in Grand Marais.


Rhonda/Grand Marais,Mn
I believe the seagull is possibly hiding in our own backyard. Well, in a certain individual’s back yard. Has anyone ever noticed the eclectic sign collection behind Stephan Hoglund’s Jewelry Design in downtown Grand Marais? Perhaps the seagull is hiding there amidst the old Grand Marais Standard Station, Seawall Motel, and miscellaneous other signs!


Gary/Madison,wi
Bird Sighting... On a foggy, misty day in Grand Marais, we still enjoyed gorgeous scenery by the bay, romantic two-somes in the rain and strolls through quaint little shops. The food was excellent at the Gunflint Tavern and one can never visit Grand Marais without a stop at Sven & Ole's for the best pizza in the world! After our stop in Grand Marais, we headed up the Gunflint Trail. Further up the trail, the fog lifted and glorious sunshine surrounded us to bring out the vivid colors of fall's beauty. A stop at Gunflint Outfitters netted us breathtaking views of Gunflint Lake...........and a lowly seagull...sunning himself on a dock. Surprised that he was the only one, we asked him if he was from the area. "Alas," he answered,"as soon as the fog and mists lift, I must return to the city by the bay....where I belong." Fear not, Grand Marais! He WILL return!


jeanette leora/winona,mn
We are with the International Migratory Association: Save Our Birds [I.M.A.S.O.B] and, once gain, it is us who is responsible for the disappearance of your bird. All these other "sightings" are false and we demand these claims stop. If Grand Marais wants us to give you The Bird, we have some demands: Our previous post indicates we are interested in establishing proper migratory patterns for your bird, however, with the following demands met, we will gladly give you The Bird . . . back. Our first demand: a certificate for complimentary lodging for two nights in Grand Marais. Our second demand: acknowledgment that it was the International Migratory Association: Save Our Birds [I.M.A.S.O.B] who is responsible for the disappearance of The Bird. Only then will we give you The Bird . . . back!


Lisa/Garden City,MN
It all happened one Saturday night when this Seagull was getting a little tispy on exhaust fumes from I35. After a few hits, the Ugly Ducklady came flying by and the intoxicated Seagull convinced her to "spend the night." After he awoke early to see this rather unattractive fowl lying next to him, he decided he must chew off his feet and get the heck out of here before his seagull friends saw this embarassing situation. I heard he was in a rehab facility in Wisconsin learning how to use his prosthetic legs (aka, flippers).


Charles/Carlsbad,NM
Greeting from Carlsbad, NM Your seagull has to be visiting his southern cousins here at Lake Carlsbad. As my wife and I were strolling along the riverwalk, we noticed something different about this one particular seagull. He was on crutches, wearing a sombrero, drinking Tequila, and wearing a Vikings pull-over. I thought the reason he was on crutches was he and I may have been the only ones routing for the Vikings to beat the Cowboys. When I asked him about it, he said his feet were still on a billboard in Minnesota! By the way, he has introduced fish tacos to his cousins here and his Spanish sucks!


Jason/Thunder Bay,Ontario
Well did you look behind the billboard? Maybe he was knocked down or taken by a seagull hating eagle?


Bob/PikeLake,MN
(I believe that) our gull “Flip” is finally home in Grand Marais. I last spotted him ducking into the dumpster next to the Beaver House bait shop. Probably “gulling” out on all the yummy morsels left by the numerous visitors to our lovely harbor village...gulls will eat most anything they can get past their beaks. Rumor has it that a compassionate woodpecker freed our gull from its perch atop the freeway billboard. Will Flip return to his perch along 35W? Not as long as there’s a warm harbor breeze and bits of pizza crust or donut crumbs to be scrounged. Flip the bird...he’'s home again!


Sharon/De Witt,IA
We saw him in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, Sept 13! We were in LeClaire Park, along the Mississippi River, waiting for the annual Riverfront Pops concert to begin & there he was!! He & the other sea gulls seemed to enjoy the Sinatra/Big Band music theme of the evening & we saw them swinging/swaying along with the 7000 human spectators. They were definitely frightened when a cannon was shot off during Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" near the end of the concert, but found the finale of "Stars & Stripes Forever" with accompanying fireworks quite enjoyable.


Susan /Seminole,FL
Greetings Grand Marais from sunny Florida! I so look foward to returning to hike the many miles of wildnerness in Grand Marais and was saddened to hear of the loss of the seagull as reported on National Public Radio - yes - you made national news! But the mystery is solved! My boyfriend and I were walking the beach in Madeira Beach Florida and spotted a very large gull on the beach. I didn't notice at the time that his feet were missing but I'm sure it was him - he loomed large over the other gulls and looked very out of place. A the time we thought he was Johnathan Livingston Seagull incarnate but in retrospect - I see now it was indeed the poor missing Grand Marais seagull. Don't be too upset - I'm sure he was just trying to see what was outside of Grand Marais. But like us, I'm certain he'll be working his way back when he realizes that there's no place like home. Its too hot in Florida anyhow....and fall is so beautiful there!


Doug/Sandstone,MN
When the bird disappeared in January, were there any tracks in the snow? My suggestion as to what happened is that possibly a hungry bald eagle or hawk thought it might be a good meal. I remember seeing the seagull on the sign a couple of weeks ago. It looked very life like and at first i thought it was a real bird. Good luck on finding it.


Antoinette/St. Paul,Minnesota
I may have found your bird. I doubt the story that this was a "gull napping". He/she has been visiting my bird feeder and bathing in my newly set up birdbath. He/she visits with the hens in my neighbors yard (ducks too) and has been "hanging" with those noisy blue jays. Please send someone to pick him/her up. By the way, really distinctive markings on that bird of yours...


Steve/Washington DC,DCc
I heard that a Geo Cashe was inside the bird on top of the billboard. Someone took the whole bird thinking that is was the Cashe.


Judy/Visalia,CA
I just saw him with "Gertrude" and "Heathcliff" flying over Red Skelton's house - giggling because they're trying to figure out how to help this little "feetless" bird land!


Deb/Anchorage,AK
I saw it on the beach in Homer, AK last weekend. Now I know why it didn't have any feet. The theory around here is one of our giant eagle sculptures swooped down and ripped it from the ledge. Sorry about that. But, if it was the one that pooped on me in 1989 when I was down by the lake in my hometown of GM eating lunch, guess I can't say I feel too bad.


Marilyn/Lincoln,NE
Having frequent contact with Nebraskans headed north, your gull has been affected by Big Red Madness and will be spending the football season in Lincoln and flying to away games with my husband, the original Big Red fan. Your bird has been spotted tailgating just north of Memorial Stadium. Because Nebraska has no decent fish, or even an option of the Dockside or Angry Trout, said bird has been observed snacking on T-Bone steak bones, corn on the cob (aka roasting ears), Fairbury hot dogs, and stadium pop corn all washed down with a Saturday am Bloody Mary. Nebraskans do not know what a snit is, so our erstwhile Husker fan has showed them how to top off the Bloody with a beer chaser. Rumor has it the bird will be traveling back to Grand Marais the first full week of October to enjoy the fall colors, but will return to Nebraska, join the Husker Faithful in a trip south for the bowl game season, and remain there until a permanent return in spring.


Gina/Grand Marais,MN
The bird went to Two Harbors to visit the chicken.


Jeff/Evansville,Indiana
He shouldn't have stolen it. I mean we all learn in pre-school not to take things that don't belong to us. Nevermind that the bird really didn't want to go with him, and that eventually it escaped from the back of his van. He said the bird flew South, poor thing was probably confused by the Ohio river. Lord knows many a shorebird winds up here from time to time. Now not only will the residents of Grand Marais call for blood, the idiot won't be able to placate their rage. He lost the bird. He made the bird quite angry, and then he let it get away. Now I'm sitting here, looking through the sliding glass door, the one that offers the view – such as it is. I'm looking at the bird, a gull much too large to be a stray from the landfill. So how do I catch it? He sure doesn't look too keen on being captured. No, he looks awfully irritated, and I think I see a touch of homesickness in those eyes. Would a landing net do it? Could I cover him in a blanket? The way he's looking at me, I'm not quite sure he doesn't know what I'm thinking. Maybe I'll just give the Grand Marais Tourism Association a call, maybe they'll be happy just to know that he's alive and unharmed. Yeah, that's probably best thing to do in this situation. Let me fetch the number, what's the area code up there? What's that old Gordon Lightfoot song that mentions Lake Superior? Ah, 2-1-8... What's that? It's a feather! The bird isn't on my porch – he's in my house! I've been watching his reflection.


Mike/Indianapolis,Indiana
Hello, I am the bird that recently departed his post, welcoming folks to Grand Marais. You can call me Mike. I had a great time greeting everyone, but I wondered what I was missing in the rest of the world, so I took off for a while. I have been visiting a lot of places, but I think I'll be coming home soon. I haven't found any place where the people are so friendly, or where there is so much to do and see as my home on Lake Superior. I miss all the shops on Wisconsin Street, the amazing seasons and the art and music festivals. I'll be back before the first snow!


Lynn/Moose Lake,MN
I travel frequently on 35w and always got a giggle out of the sign. Our family has a special "cousins weekend" every summer at the home of our cousin who lives in Grand Marais. We come from far and wide to enjoy the special events. We have been to the Dragon Boat races and this year to the Fisherman's picnic.We loved the music,log rolling events,fish toss and the tractor pull but couldn't talk my husband into the pickled herring eating contest. We especially enjoyed the Grand Marais Idol contest and cheered our cousin's son on to a 3rd place win.Of course one cannot forget to mention the "Best doughnuts in the world"!!! In regards to the missing bird; I feel that someone should investigate the Travelocity Gnome to see if he has an alibi for the time frame of the disappearance of the Grand Marias Gull!! I sincerely hope that he will again grace the 35W sign as it always brings a smile to my face and great memories from my heart!


Torin/Duluth ,Minnesota
I am from Duluth MN and i think someone took the bird down and just destroyed it. Just like someone did here when they cut down the honking tree. Maybe the same person but probably just to cause an uproar and thought it was funny and to make people mad. Well hope u find out who did it


Mary /Princeton,MN
In 1988 my husband and I took our 18 month old daughter on a trip to the North Shore and stayed 2 nights in Grand Marais. We took a trip up the Gunflint Trail to Magnetic Rock and after seeing this big rock we continued on the trail which ended up being a ski trail. We walked and walked and had no idea where we were. We finally came to a house and told the people we needed a ride back to our vehicle, which ended up being about 5 miles away. We were so upset and shook up over this ordeal but luckily we made it back to our car shortly before a severe thunderstorm hit the area. What a way to spend out 10th wedding anniversary. But we love Grand Marais and have been back many times.


Amanda/Bloomington,MN
After watching the video, I can't but wonder if this wasn't an inside job... the undertones of the locals discussing the missing fish or dirty towels.. has anyone checked the local bushes? (a bird in the bush may be worth more than one knows). I'm deeply saddened because this little bird has greeted me on my way to Grand Marais numerous times and now something is a foot with him or is it feet given that is all that is left on the billboard? He often reminded me, as only he could, to wash my motorcycle when I visited Grand Marais and now he is gone and I lack direction as to when to clean. Although giving the bird to the citizens of Grand Marais may make some happy we should not be gullible and remember birds of a feather flock together and this birdnapping is not the work of a bird brain but clearly a professional. As transparent as he seems on that billboard these days he is still guiding me to his home harbor and I will always be on the lookout for his presents (er ! presence) as I search the beautiful Grand Marais sky from down below.


Jeanette Leora/Winona,MN
We are with the International Migratory Association: Save Our Birds [I.M.A.S.O.B] and our association is taking responsibility for the disappearance of your bird. It is our objective to ensure the healthy, responsibile migration of all birds, and clearly being stuck to a billboard along the interstate is not in the Save Our Birds best interest. Although there may have been several sightings of your bird, these are all false. The International Migratory Association: Save Our Birds has your bird in custody and will retain said bird until migratory patterns are again established. Although there are times when we would all like to give someone The Bird, it is our feeling that giving anyone The Bird at this time could disrupt the fragile relationship developing between us and The Bird. In conclusion, the International Migratory Association: Save Our Birds [I.M.A.S.O.B.] can assure you your bird is in safe hands, but we will not be giving you The Bird . . . truth is, we like Grand Marais too much!


Jill/Park Rapids,MN
How bored would you be just sitting on the billboard watching traffic passing by, going where you want to be the most? I think he got a few buddies together to spring him loose. He's probably perched on Five Mile Rock watching the fabulous sunsets. Bring your binoculars and watch him wink at you - happy at last!


Kaia/Superior,WI
My daughter swears she saw the seagull eating french fries in the parking lot at McDonalds on Central entrance in Duluth. I believe her, why would she lie?


Carowner/,
I've got your bird. Lodging? Never mind that; don't need it. Free car washes for life, or the bird gets whacked!


Kathy/Forest Lake,MN
Every year, for the past five years, I have met friends in Grand Marais to celebrate Fishermans Picnic. I live in the Twin Cities area and my friends drive all the way from Missouri for the trip. They do it year after year because they are CRAZY about Grand Marais. My guess is that the bird followed them home after our last meet-up in Grand Marais so it could tell others in Missouri about the wonderful city of Grand Marais and the fun they could be having at Fisherman\'s Picnic.


Kathy/Rochester,MN
I was so moved by your story. Everyone wants to get the bird. I live in Rochester, MN and we have lots of birds here too....Canadian Geese. They are as much fun as the birds in Grand Marais. So we feel your pain. My husband and I will be heading up to Grand Marais in early October and you can be assured we will be alert our whole way up there and God willing we will be able to give you the bird. P.S. Your submit button says SUMBIT...is this a local colloquialism? I like it!


Murphy/DULUTH,MN
Did anyone mention that his name could be Gulliver?


Dan/Visalia,Ca.
Your bird is in Southern California, I spotted it at the marina in Newport Beach last week, the bird was standing next to a sign that read: Will work for fish heads. Beer is welcome, I am thirsty, this is a tuff job. Of course, with no legs, the gull is getting an outstanding level of donations, a sea lion was spotted snagging a fish head from it's environmental friendly wicker donation basket but was shooed away by a little old lady in a bikini, she used her cane and was quite aggressive. The sea lion certainly won't try that again!


Samantha/Apple Valley,MN
While at the State Fair this past weekend, I noticed all the local seagulls in the parking lots pecking left over things on stick. One bird really stood out. I noticed that his legs were not regular bird legs. No they were similar to those of an old, crusty seaman; wooden legs fashioned out of the sticks left over from various deep fried things on a stick. While he wobbled a bit, he did seem to be able to make it around ok. I think I even noticed a gold hoop earring so my belief is that the bird has morphed into a pirate bird with his new wooden food on stick legs. And here I thought perhaps I had had one too many beverages at the beer garden........


Jon/Bondurant,IOWA
We visited Grand Marias twice this year once in March and stayed at the east bay suites, but do not remember seeing the bird on the billboard only the billboard, which is very clever. We also visited again over July 4th, but again do not remember seeing the bird then either, I believe some poor soul thought it was a free gull meal and when it did not fly away was very exited at the ease of the hunting. Knowing the tough economic times I am not suprised, don\'t think the gull will return. Once when in Grand Marias a gull stole my sons sandwich so maybe we are only a little sad. My whole family loves Grand Marias, good luck finding the bird.


Lets go Ski/other side of Duluth,mn
Once when I was a kid, a tourist stopped in front of our house on 8th Ave W. and asked me if the chickens in the harbor were edible. I told him they were but a little tough. Anyway, I'm guessing this is a voo-doo thing and your seagull is flying around Seagull island even now. For what it's worth, Two Harbors (you know, the place the Germans bombed in WW2 ) have a real nice chicken on the south side of town. They won't miss it, and besides, maybe the guy who took the seagull lives there and you could eventually work out some kind of trade. Make sure you get to The Worlds best Donuts and buy your gas at Holliday. The Gunflint Tavern and Harbor Light are the best places to have a drink, just don't drive from one to the other, and you can't beat cold Sven and Ole's Pizza for breakfast.


Donna/Crystal, MN
The seagull was not stolen. How could everyone jump to such a conclusion!? Instead, he was tired of being bolted down (who wouldn’t be?), so he managed to escape --- minus his feet, poor thing. But he is now happier being a free spirit flying over Lake Gitchigumi. Eventually he’ll return to his billboard home when he finds the need to perch on his own two feet. So for now, let’s grant him his freedom for the time being and wish him well on his adventures.


Mike/Ankeny, IA
I am sure I saw the Seagull in Ankeny, IA yesterday, which is on I-35 near Des Moines. I believe he taking a trip to the south following I-35 in order to lure visitors to Grand Marais. When I saw him I told my wife that he remided me of Grand Marais, MN, as I was surfing the net today I disovered that you were missing a seagull. I am sure that he has to be one in the same. I don't believe that this was a coincidence, Grand Marais here we come. :)


Vernon (Vern)/Forest Lake, MN
We observed this strange looking gull on our deck railing and we started to feed it my favorite peanut butter cookies. Started feeding it more nutritious fake cookies but it still keeps hanging around. It looks like your missing bird. I'm sure I can catch it and would gladly return it as we haven't been up to your fair city in years.


Shirley/Oakdale, MN
We had a seagull on our fence and now it is gone. Found it broken and in about 20 piece. Was just in Grand Marais for three days and could not find a seagull to replace it. What a bummer!


Ellen/Somewhere in Wisconsin
I have your bird. Pick me as the winner or the bird gets it.



Marilyn/Bel Aire, KS
Global warming has been so nice to us this summer in Wichita, KS (only 4 days that even hit 100) that "the bird" thought he'd come down and visit us since we come visit him every fall in Grand Marais and on the Superior Hiking Trail. He's "hanging with the eagles" down along the Arkansas River here. He told me he'd personally escort us back up there when we leave for our visit on Sept. 19. See you soon!!!


Jen/Horseheads, NY
I think I saw him alll the waaaay out here in Horseheads, NY!! He was sitting on our welcome sign, right on top of a Horse's Head, no less!!


Dennis/Lino Lakes, MN
I saw the seagul in Mcdonalds parking lot in Duluth. I'm pretty sure he was filling up on fries for the final flight to Grand Marais where he can get some pizza.


Jessica/Arden Hills, MN
That bird was so bound and determined to get the french fries that some poor, unsuspecting child was eating that he ripped himself right off the billboard. I'm sure by now he has found his way home and is currently harassing tourists in the harbor.


Sue/Grand Marais, MN
Rest assured that as the Mayor of Grand Marais I will get to the bottom of this tragic crime, pulling out all stops necessary. You have my solemn promise that we WILL be getting the bird back.
Very Sincerely,
Sue Hakes


Jason/Anytown, MN
Just a personal note, I cant get that town out of my head. Being able to work on this story has been the pivotal moment of my career as a television journalist. Everything about Grand Marais is inspiring. The location, people and of course birds make it a place I'll be coming back to visit. The other day I was in Istanbul, Turkey and I heard a gull over head. I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying, I thought "Does he know about what happened on a lonely stretch of highway so far away? Or, is my fly open?" Cheers to you Grand Marais! I'm with you! JP

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