Monday, November 3, 2008

Gangway guardian.

A Glaucous-winged Gull gives me the eye. This large gull is the common coastal/urban species here, found year-round. It's a four-year white-headed gull, meaning it takes four years for a bird to attain its full adult plumage, which includes--uh--a white head. Similar species include Herring and Western Gulls, with which they interbreed.

This bird is an adult, but has a dingy head typical of nonbreeding months (September-March).

They eat almost anything. I recently saw one trying to down a sea star that was not cooperating. I don't know how the stand-off turned out.

When I was a teenager, my birding buddies and I would drive to Niagara Falls in winter to look for exotic gulls, including Glaucous-winged. A long move west, and exotica becomes dross.


cedrorum said...

I have always sucked at immature gull IDs.

Hugh said...

Me too. But you can pretend to know which one is which and all the other birders will go along because they aren't sure either.