Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birds-in-Flight: Herring Gull

Reminder: Click on the photo to see an enlarged copy.
Back in the fall of 2003, we took an extended weekend trip to Cape Cod and included a ferry ride from Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard.
There is nothing like a daily ferry with tourist to attrack sea gulls. Of course, a crew member throwing popcorn from the top deck helps also.

The gulls came within 10 feet of the top deck - the gulls got popcorn while I got lots of photos.
All of these are Herring Gulls, a common gull found throughout North America.

Without a reference in these photos it is hard to appreciate that these gulls are the size of a red-shouldered hawk with a 4 1/2 foot wingspan.
The Herring Gull is part of a complex of large, white-headed gulls that breed across the northern hemisphere. Some people consider all of the forms as one species, while others would recognize 10 or more species. [Cornell]

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