Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heermann's Gull

Another group of images from the South Jetty. These were some of the first birds I saw.
The top image is from the observation deck. At first I thought the group of dark Gulls in the middle were juveniles. I had never seen Heermann's Gulls before. It wasn't until I climbed down the jetty rocks to the shore and got in closer that I realized that these were some other species. That bright red bill didn't seem like a juvenile characteristic. I don't typically carry a field guide with me as my goal is to get as many photo opportunities as I can. I leave identifying until later at home on my computer.

These Heermann's have mostly transitioned to their non-breeding winter plumage as they have a white head during mating season. I sure appreciate the job Sibley has done in providing drawings of many of the juvenile and seasonal plumage changes. It makes identifying so much easier.

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