The Western Gull, Larus occidentalis, is native to the west coast of North America. Its normal range is from British Columbia to Baja California. It is primarily a marine gull, often feeding along the tidal area of the cost.
The Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens, breeds from the coast of Alaska to Washington state, while in winter it wanders south to California.This bird was photographed in Victoria, British Columbia.
It regularly hybridizes with the Western Gull which can cause identification difficulties.
Some things to look for in the breeding adult are tail coloring similar to the back, dark eyes, and a dark pink orbital ring.
The Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii, is found on the coasts of Chile and Argentina down through Tierra del Fuego. These images were taken in Tierra del Fuego, in the Argentine sector. Their bright red bill, light eye combined with soft gray plumage makes them a very striking looking species.
The first image below shows a first year bird with its grey hood.
One of the most unusual members of the Gull Family is the Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii, with its outlandish bill and dusty gray plumage. It is native to southern Argentina and Chile, as well as the Falkland Islands.
Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii
Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii juvenile
These images are from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, where it was the only gull I saw other than the larger Kelp Gull. The bird above to the left is a juvenile.
There is a huge Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis, colony at Hamilton Harbor, Ontario, and there is a good place to sit in a parked car and get a close up view. The interaction of a large number of birds competing for space and food is fascinating to watch. A few weeks ago, the chicks began to hatch and many have reached a good size. This family group had moved to the waters edge, and occasionally one of the adults would fly off and return to regurgitate some food for the chicks, which occasioned great excitement.
Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
The adults are very attentive. As the day became hot, an adult came over and shaded a chick.
In Hamilton harbor, here in Ontario, there is a spit of land which hosts a breeding colony of Ring-billed Gulls Thousands of pairs of Ring-billed Gulls and they are very interesting. I have been dropping by occasionally to take some video in hopes of putting together a feature on them.
Yesterday when I swung by, I found that there were chicks everywhere. And here are some images. Tomorrow I’ll post a short clip of an adult feeding a pair of chicks.