Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ABC Wednesday: R is for Ring-Billed Gull

Cape Cod is quite often described as like a raised human arm.  Thus, you can imagine that the upper arm (upper Cape) is actually lower (further south) than the lower arm (lower Cape).  It is all very confusing.  If Cape Cod is like a human arm then Town of Sandwich is at the shoulder.  It is the oldest town on Cape Cod.  Cape Cod is separated from the mainland by Cape Cod Canal.  Part of the Sandwich is located on the mainland and part of it is on Cape Cod.  Scusset Beach is on the mainland part of Sandwich at the north end of the Cape Cod Canal.  It is a State Reservation with a very nice beach and camping area. I went there for some birding last week.  On the beach, there was a flock of seabird.  They are probably the most common gull in America, the Ring-Billed Gull, Larus dalawareniss.  When I first looked at seagulls, they all looked the same.  But when I looked more carefully, they all looked different.  The main reason is, they change their look as they get older or are in breeding season.  This one is at very young age, it is the first spring for it.  I read somewhere, when we photograph bird, we should be at the same eye level as the bird.  Thus you can see that I was crawling on the sand like a real bird photographer.

Now, it is flying away, still at my eye level.  Notice the color and pattern on the wings, which indicate its young age.

I then crossed over to the Cape Cod side of Sandwich, on the Horizon Beach.  This Ring-Billed Gull was sitting on a wooden pole.  Again at my eye level, it is a bit older than the previous one.  Notice the leftover brown pattern under the gray/blue feather of the back.

"What are you looking at??!!".  It was not too thrilled of me pointing a camera at it so close.

Now here is a mature bird.  Notice the white color under the wings and belly, and the black feather at the tip of the wings.  It even has the tell-tale mark of a whit spot at the wing tip of an adult Ring-Billed Gull.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.


Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post for the R day and what a beautiful bird! I loved being able to see the color difference under the wings of older and younger gull! Marvelous photos as always! Hope your week is going well!


Carol said...

Great shots! These gulls look beautiful. Nice detail when enlarged.

fiziskandarz said...

thank you for the interesting facts of the gull! we always thought they all look the same. will look carefully in the future :P thanks again! :D

Tumblewords: said...

Great captures!

Manang Kim said...

Beautiful pictures. Just like Michigan it's like the back of your palm ^_^. Happy Wednesday!

ABC Wednesday

photowannabe said...

Thank you for the lesson about gulls. I mostly think of them as noisy and making messes. You showed me some beauty.

Jama said...

I love the shot of the bird flying with wings opened, awesome!

Jingle said...

amazingly beautiful!

VJF said...

Great pictures and info. Thanks for sharing!

snapperoni said...

It looks graceful taking flight.

Beautiful photos as always!

Jay said...

An interesting lesson on gull identification. Pity we don't have that type of gull here!

Roger Owen Green said...

pretty bird.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Ann said...

How many types of sea gulls are there? There are two obvious types here. A usual white and brown type. Yesterday, I saw one each on the top of a plague in the park. i will post the photo next time.

HAI OW, FEI AI SIAN..... do you remember the song? I didn't learn much Mandarin, so I just remember a few words.

You featured an elegant bird, and I a humble hen.


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