Sea Gulls and Baygulls

Though I focused on Marbled Godwits and Brown Pelicans in Westport this Sunday, gulls were everywhere, and the cry of hungry juvenile Glaucous-Winged Gulls filled the air.

I'mHungry

Judging from the look on this adult, I’m sure the parents were as tired of the constant noise as we were.

At Ruth’s memorial this weekend I was reminded that before I started birding seriously I referred to the many Glaucous-Winged Gulls that fed on the garbage left by beach visitors as “Seagulls.” Everyone I knew did, so it came as a shock when serious birders took offense at the name. Now that I’ve been birding for a while, I realize just how fallacious that name is. I’ve photographed gulls in amazing places, and very few of them were near the sea. So what do you call a gull that’s in Puget Sound? A Bay-Gull, as Diane suggested? Either that or you learn their official name like Heermann’s Gull,

HrmnsGl

the most common bird at Westport this weekend.

I can’t imagine the ocean without Gulls,

GraysHrmnsGlLndng

even if there sometimes seemed more on Salt Lake than on Puget Sound.

I still can’t but identify the gull in Jonathan Livingston Seagull with the garbage-eating Glaucous-Winged Gulls of my childhood, but I have found gulls much more interesting after I realized how many varieties of gulls there are.

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