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Who's a pretty gull, then?

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Artist's Description

Juvenile Ring Billed Gull Larus delawarensis
ST. Lawrence River, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
October 23, 2011.

I was wandering along the shoreline and noticed this young gull perched on the railings near the boat launch. I slowly approached, taking shots every few steps (stealth mode), and, although a little twitchy, it stayed pretty much in place.

Once I got a little too close, though, it moved to the end of the railing ready to take off.

It finally did, landing on the rocks close by. And it was actually closer to me than when it was on the railing.

Feeling much safer, it had a quick drink of water to settle its shattered nerves.

With thanks to www.allaboutbirds.org

A familiar parking lot gull, the Ring-billed Gull breeds primarily inland in North America. It can be found along the coasts, but many of these “seagulls” never see anything except fresh water all their lives.

Immature Description

Juvenile plumage
Dirty, grayish brown head, back, and chest. Back feathers with light tips, giving a scaly appearance. Underparts streaked or barred, especially on the flanks. Tail gray with black band near tip. Wingtips black. Bill black with lighter base. Eyes dark. Legs pinkish.

First Winter
Head and nape white with gray mottling. Pale gray feathers on back, some with dark tips. Mottled brown feathers on wings. Underparts white with some gray markings or barring. Wingtips black. Bill pinkish with outer third black, and very tip pink. Tail whitish with black band near tip. Eyes dark brown. Legs pinkish.

First Summer
Head and nape white with sparse light mottling. Back light gray. Wings with worn brown feathers and blackish wingtips. Bill pinkish with outer third black, and very tip pink. Legs pinkish. Eyes dark.

Second Winter
Head and nape white with gray mottling. Back and wings light gray. Breast, sides, and flanks white. Tail white with broken dark band near tip. Wingtip feathers dark brown to black with only small white tips, if any. Bill yellowish with large black band near tip. Legs yellowish.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F6.3, 1/200 second
Tripod

Artwork Comments

  • Ray Clarke
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  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
  • Mike Oxley
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