Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Baffled by Gulls...

I should have paid better attention in the "Birds of Connecticut" exhibit at the Peabody Museum yesterday, because I'm stymied by the variety of gulls we saw today at the beach. I'm going to put up a few, in hopes the Husband (at home with the bird book) will help!

This brown guy was one of the big ones... not sure whether he/she was different from the other kind of speckled ones, or not. Some seemed to have whiter heads, but it could have been a gender distinction, I suppose. They all were certainly fun to watch. The little ones in the top photo, aka "regular" gulls, were the most abundant. There's also a little diver, sharp-beaked plunge into the water. Tern? (per the Museum display?) Too quick to capture by camera, but delightful to watch.



This was the biggest gull we saw. Thought I saw another big one, with black feet, fly by... but this one's feet are yellow... (Bonaparte's pops into mind, but it'd be a wonder if that was right!)

The bigger they are, it seems, the more time it takes to settle their wings when they land. Pigeons come down, and boom, wings are stowed. When these guys land, they have to shuffle their wings (left over right, right over left) a few times before they're comfortable.

We were surprised to see pigeons and sparrows taking advantage, with the gulls, of the pickings along the shoreline. Have a few more shorebirds to post tomorrow!

Guess it's back to the Peabody for me...

2 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm writing from the other side of the Atlantic so I'm no expert on the gulls you're seeing - but in general speckled gulls are young gulls. Most gull species take a few years to mature and there is a different speckled plumage for each of those years! Makes identification difficult!

S.L. White said...

Thanks, Crafty... you can tell I'm a mountain gal, eh? I appreciate the tip!