Wednesday, March 19, 2014

There Will be Gulls

1. ring-billed gull-kab Ring-billed Gull in Bath, Maine 3-15-14

Gus and I took a drive on Saturday up the coast of Maine to Bath and Wiscasset. Since we are living near the ocean as well as numerous rivers and lakes, of course we are going to see gulls. I want to see two gulls in particular though: the Glaucous Gull and the Iceland Gull, but though I searched through flocks of gulls all weekend, all I found were Ring-bills, Herring, and Great Black-backed Gulls! Here are a few photos along with identification tips for  those of you new to birding.

2. ghost gull-kab Ring-billed Gull at the Bath Boat Launch 3-15-14


3. ringbill on ice-kab Ring-billed Gull in Bath, ME 3-15-14


4. rb gull on post-kab Ring-billed Gull, Bath, Maine 3-15-14


5. mixed flock-kab Mixed flock of gulls in Wiscasset, Maine 3-15-14


6. RB and HE gulls-kab Ring-billed Gull on the right; Herring Gulls on the left.

Note the size difference, the leg color, and the beak shape and color:

  • Ring-billed gull--yellowish green legs and black ring around tip of bill.
  • Herring Gull--pink legs and black and red spots near tip of bill.

7. flyaway-kab Flyaway


P.S. There will probably be many more gulls!


  1. I enjoyed seeing Ring-billed Gulls in San Francisco on my way to Costa Rica. Gulls are a real challenge for me as we (in Australia) only have 3 species which are quite distinctive so we don't have to learn the way the rest of the world does! I'll be looking forward to some more from you and more tips too.

    1. happy wanderer, then we will be learning together! Gulls are one of the most challenging groups of birds. I know a few of them, but many I do not. We also get laughing gulls and Bonepart's here as well, a little gull called a Black-legged kittywake which I am eager to see.

  2. Gulls are a hard ID for me, with a few exceptions. Maybe it's because I don't spend enough time on them. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Carole, gulls are challenging for most people, especially because they take 4 to 5 years to reach adult plumage so there is much variation and subtle differences between species. to make thing even more difficult, most of them all sound the same!

  3. Yep, there will be gulls! :-). But I have no doubt that you will become an expert at identifying. All the tips you give help me and others too!

    1. Thanks Kathryn, that's nice to know. I am still learning myself, but sometimes I take things like this for granted and forget that others do not know this information!

  4. HI Katie... Good are settling in a bit, and getting a feel of your birding surroundings !!
    Ya gulls gulls and more gulls!! Very interesting and beneficial, and a royal pain at times, especially at the beach in summer : )!!

    Nice to see you starting to blog from Maine!!


    A lifer for me today on my walk "Horned Lark" Yeah!!!!

    1. grace, how wonderful! Yes, I am starting to settle in and look forward to doing more birding. I hope that we can finally meet one day soon!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.