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Posts Tagged ‘Ring-billed Gull’

There was a sheet of ice in the center of the pond, but I had no idea how thin it was until a Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) that I was watching fell through the ice. I captured this little series of shots as the gull scrambled to regain its footing. Undeterred by its brief contact with the frigid water, the gull continued its solitary march across the ice, although it did seem to move a bit more slowly and cautiously.

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I generally do not pay much attention to gulls when I am out with my camera, but this Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) was so loud and so close last weekend at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge that it was impossible to ignore. I love the juxtaposition between the tensed, emotion-filled pose of the gull in the foreground and the blasé  attitude of the gull in the background, who has clearly heard this screaming multiple times and was not in the least impressed by it.

Ring-billed Gull

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Do seagulls hunt ducks? That’s a crazy question, but that was the first thing that came to mind when a Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) started aggressively chasing a Hooded Merganser duck (Lophodytes cucullatus) with what appeared to be hostile intent.

I was walking along Cameron Run, a tributary of the Potomac River, when the scene started to unfold in front of me. The gull flew toward the dusk with its legs extended, like it was trying to snatch the duck out of the water. The duck immediately started bounding across the water (as you can see in the third photos) in an effort to escape the gull, but did not take to the air. When the duck got close to the bank of the stream, the gull turned away and left the duck in peace.

Was this merely a cranky gull or maybe a bully? Was it a territoriality thing? All I know is that it provided me a fascinating moment as I treated to a brief interaction between these two very different species of birds.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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