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View Diary: The Daily Bucket: gulls at sunset (65 comments)

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  •  Gulls on Lake Ontario (11+ / 0-)

    wet day, may end in a couple hours tho.

    We watched a gull chasing another last night - aiming for a nice morsel we saw in the one's beak. Then another chasing and then 3 or 4 more, zooming around the treetops along the beach. We wondered if any of them would get a chance to eat it.....

    We are attempting to differentiate between Common and Caspian tern. Orange legs on common seems to be the key.

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 09:53:55 AM PDT

    •  Food competition isn't a problem around here (11+ / 0-)

      and may not be there either. They have so many possible things to eat, and ways to get them. In this area, they have safe nesting spots too, outer uninhabited islands. What gets them is injury, and predation. Eagles eat a lot of gulls, and we have a big bald eagle population.

      Legs are a good ID tool for gulls too. Good luck with your terns.

      •  Bald eagles and gulls (9+ / 0-)

        The bald eagles on our property eat lots of gulls as suggested by the wings underneath the nest tree.  They have the huge gull nesting site of Protection Island right across the bay.  

        We took a boat tour around the island (which is a national wildlife refuge with restricted access).  The naturalist on board from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center pointed out how the gulls gathered near the caretaker's cottage because the eagles didn't like getting too close to the building and the gulls figured out they were safer with the human than the eagles.  The eagle parents take their kids out there after fledging because of easy meals.  We counted over 50 eagles on the island in August. A lot of gulls move to downtown Port Townsend in late summer and the speculation is that it's to avoid the eagles who have moved in on Protection Island.  

        Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

        by Milly Watt on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 12:06:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The size difference between the two is very (9+ / 0-)

      large.  According to Sibley a Caspian weighs about 5 times as much as a Common Tern (has a 50 inch wingspan compared to 30 inches for common).

      Caspian Tern is the size of a gull (in fact slightly larger than a Ring-billed Gull).

      Other characteristics to look for (breeding coloration) - Common has a rounded back of the head and an orange/red beak with a black tip.  Caspian has an all red beak and the back of the head has an angle to it (like a Royal Tern).

      "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

      by matching mole on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:29:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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