Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) are very sociable and they are opportunists. They are comfortable around human and you often find them congregate on beach, golf course and large parking lot near lakes or seashore. From their name, you can immediately tell that there is a black band circled around their bill. Many other gulls have either black dot or red dot around the bill. So pay attention when you see a gull next time. It will take up to three years to grow into an adult gull. Their plumage changes dramatically during the first three years. Breeding adults have a white head and non-breeding ones have brown-streaked head pattern (as shown in this photo).

( Non-breeding Ring-billed Gull ..Click image to enlarge)

I photographed this gull in flight near southeastern Georgia, a harbor city called Brunswick.  While waiting in a  fast food restaurant drive-thru lane ordering my lunch, few gulls were circling around parking lot and seemed to occupy the whole place. This gull suddenly flapped his long wings and flew towards cars without any warning! Omg! I don't know what this gull have in mind but one thing I do know is no one will throw their French fries or hamburgers in the air. 

Hearing few kids screaming to their parent "mommy, daddy...look that bird...", I quickly switched to the passenger seat and snapped few shots. I seem to forget my surroundings such as people, things or even sounds when my finger starts clicking ...With limited time and cars that in front of me started moving slowly, I was panicky that people behind me would be upset because no one at my driver seat to drive forward. Soon it came to my turn to pick up my order at the drive-thru window, I was glad cars behind me did not even honk me. I guessed everyone just enjoying the show, "gulls in flight" :)  Not sure how good or bad those shots were, I quickly pulled back my camera, slid back to the driver's seat and drove forward and got my order. At least my lunch is safe  :D

Speaking of these opportunist gulls, it reminds me a magic encounter my friend told me when he went to Coney Island. Read  full story here and I hope you enjoy it! Happy Birding! - Linda

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