"Today to our utter astonishment, the crickets came by millions, sweeping everything before them." Seagulls, no strangers to settlers in small numbers, arrive in dense flocks to devour crickets but not in time to save whole fields from destruction. Although published letters by First Presidency and LDS sermons refer to this event in non-miraculous terms for several years, anti-Mormon WARSAW SIGNAL of Nov. 17, 1849 shows that Mormons soon describe this experience as divine intervention: "This year, as the story goes-the Lord sent immense numbers of gulls from the Lake, to devour the crickets." Seagulls descend during cricket infestation in 1849 and 1850, but apparently not until 1853 does general authority (Orson Hyde) publicly describe the 1848 seagull visitation as miraculous. The "Miracle of the Seagulls" is now memorialized by statue on Salt Lake Temple Square and by adoption of seagull as Utah's state bird.
[source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]