Cappy's Gull Story
In late October 2006, two agents from the Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife division came into Cappy’s Chowder House to confiscate a stuffed Black Backed Gull that was mounted and on display in the upstairs dinning room known as the Crow’s Nest. The Gull, whose name we learned was Alexander, has called Cappy’s its home for more than 20 years. The agents said that they had received a tip from a customer in August that we had the gull here and had to take it away because it was against the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 to sell, purchase, hunt, any migratory bird. When asked how Johanna Tutone (owner of Cappy’s Chowder House) came to acquire this bird, she replied that she had purchased it at an estate auction from an old sea captains house. Before the day was through we asked the two agents if we could have some time to talk to lawyers and other people about what we should do.
We contacted Senator Olympia Snowe for help on making a deal with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. After weeks of negotiation between Senator Snowe and the federal agents we struck a deal that Alexander would be turned over to the government, who would then donate it to the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, ME. Cappy’s has been deemed an educational facility. May 3, 2007 Alexander will return. There will be a fund raiser for the museum that night. Do join us!