Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Finding Gulls

The art of Gulling is truly a fine art.  Beautiful grays, whites, and blacks, with yellows, greens (not here on the east coast) to round it off make Gulls a serious challenge.  Along with sharing a similar color scheme, Gulls can also hybridize and find themselves in all parts of the world.  Their success is a testament to the capacity of how they can adapt to a diverse set of environments and even human environments.  After all landfills are great spots to see gulls.

Gulls (the Family Laridae) mainly inhabit the Arctic Circle and have moved around the world from there.  The Arctic Circle is also their breeding grounds and where they nest and hybridize and drive many birders crazy.  I've been working on my own skills with Gull Identification and the best practices I've picked up on are A - Going out a lot and learning how to ID Gulls and B - Reading and looking over Petersons Guide to the Gulls of the Americas by Steve Howell and Jon Dunn (link to here).

The trick to learning about gulls is to take everything as a learning opportunity.  If you are in front of what looks like 100's of Herring and Ring-Billed Gulls, take time to really notice the differences.  Talk them out, write them out, try to get photos that will help you remember the differences.  I'd like to say I am doing this, but I need to remind myself to go through checklists and comparisons in my head.  Practice makes permanent and I definitely want to start being able to better think through my identification and what I am seeing.  While I work on that, enjoy some pictures of a local Iceland Gull!

Iceland Gull taking a bath


Watching the Bay

Comparison Shot with Other Gulls

A Cartoon drawing I made of gulls

2014 Year List: 106
Blue Winged-Teal
Northern Shoveler

1 comment:

  1. Cute blog and photos. I love your drawing and I need to see an Iceland Gull! Since I just moved to Maine I have high hopes!